Rugby Cranes can’t afford to carry underdog tag - Duncan

Thursday May 24 2018

Uganda’s back row Brian Asaba (with the ball)

Uganda’s back row Brian Asaba (with the ball) is tackled in the first leg Elgon Cup match against Kenya at Legends Ground last year. Photo by Eddie Chicco 

By Deus Bugembe


The Rugby Cranes and Kenya have gone on to play each other more than 30 times since they first officially clashed in Kampala in 1958 with Kenya taking the day 11-21. They meet again on Saturday in the first leg of the Elgon Cup.
The ties between the very first one 60 years ago and the last one, a 33-all draw in Nairobi last year, have had Kenya enjoy the bigger share of victories. The underlying statistic means Uganda cannot complain if they were tagged underdogs against Kenya but Cranes coach John Duncan wants that to change.
“We have to stand up and be counted because we can no longer afford to carry the underdog tag,” Duncan told Daily Monitor yesterday after naming the 23-man squad for Saturday’s tie.
Days into the country after short visits earlier, Duncan like his fellow coach Robert Seguya, thinks the side is in a better place than it was a year ago when they finished third behind Namibia and Kenya in the Gold Cup. “Robert (Seguya) has done great job and one thing for sure is that we are in a better place. We have had these players for three years now and built something,” added the South African tactician.
Meanwhile a scan through Saturday’s match day squad confirms seven lads namely Ian Munyayi, Adrian Kasito, Simon Olet, Paul Ssekate, Nathan Bwambale, Edgar Pajob and Elphaz Emong in line for test debuts.
Asuman Mugerwa and Justin Kimono are set to feel the weight of captaining the side when they feature in their first competitive game as captain and vice-captain respectively.
“The boys are ready, everyone is pumped up and it’s a culture here that every player loves to play against Kenya ,” Mugerwa told this paper.

Saturday - elgon cup

Uganda vs. Kenya 4pm Legends
UMU vs. UCU 2:30pm
Kyambogo vs. MUK 11:30am