Final knockout punch

Sunday July 18 2021
rugby01pix

Jet-Heeled. Wing Okia will be looking to repeat his heroics against Algeria today. PHOTOS | JOHN BATANUDDE

By Deus Bugembe

The Rugby Cranes and their counterparts, the Lady Cranes, have experienced a week to remember with big margin wins in their respective Rugby Africa Cup pool C being hosted at Kyadondo Rugby Club.

Rugby Cranes ran in eight tries against Ghana to take charge of their pool with a 53-12 win over Ghana last Saturday.

Wing Solomon Okia and eighth man Desire Ayera scored two tries apiece while fullback Adrian Kasito kicked 13 points in a stellar performance.

The ladies responded with a 41-0 thumping of a sorry Zimbabwean side on Wednesday for their first test win in eight years and the biggest they have recorded.

Here, Peace Lekuru and Emily Lekuru touched down twice each but it was the yards gained by lock Winnie Atyang that was most pleasing.

Both sides have progression in sight with the last pool games today at Kyadondo. The men tackle Algeria who threw away a 17-point lead on Wednesday to lose 20-22 to Ghana.

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Expecting better

Algeria is bottom of pool C and should not worry Uganda today although coach Brian Makalama expects them to put in a better shift today. “Algeria would have woken up and we expect a hard game,” he says.

A win for the Rugby Cranes will see them finish as pool C leaders, setting up a quarterfinal clash with Kenya who are expected to finish second in pool A after being shocked 20-19 by Senegal.The Kenyans recovered with a 45-8 win over Zambia to finish second. Makalama is also expected to rotate his side after a number of players missed out on making the 23-man squad for the Ghana tie.

Baying for more blood

Lady Cranes’ celebrations after beating Zimbabwe did not last long despite the significance of the win. Coach Leo Lubambula was happy with the result but felt there were aspects the ladies were lacking.

“ It was awesome we won 41-0 which was a brilliant performance in terms of scores and gave us  great momentum going into the next game but the team made some mistakes,” Lubambula says.

“We missed part of our game model and it is what we shall focus on, our line outs weren’t impressive just like the forwards’ movement in the green zone of play,” he explains.

He also added that he expects Zimbabwe to step up now that they know something about the Lady Cranes.

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