Amid the silence at Kyadondo Rugby Club, Rugby Cranes and their counterparts, the Lady Cranes, have relied on one another as fans during the ongoing Africa Rugby Cup.
Both have found a lift with fans barred from the Pool C games due to the Covid-19 pandemic while players are kept in bio-bubble without physical contact with the outside world.
On Saturday, the men beat Ghana 43-12. Four days later, the ladies walloped Zimbabwe 41-0 with Rugby Cranes’ captain Ivan Magomu among their biggest cheerleaders.
“They played well. It’s a young team with new faces,” Magomu says. “I think the coaches are doing a wonderful job.
“If you have been following women’s rugby, you know they have really improved and we are happy for them. I hope they keep it up.”
Ending a hoodoo
While the game started with so many handling errors, they improved two-fold as the clock ticked by to win for the first time in eight painful years.
They ran in seven tries. Second rower Winnie Atyang stood out with the ball in hand. Captain Peace Lekuru and Emily Lekuru manned the midfield superbly. Julie Nandawula, at scrum half, linked play quiet well. Samiya Ayikoru was effective at fullback.
“They made us proud and played well, let alone a few small issues. I hope they will be ready to iron them out,” Rugby Cranes coach Brian Makalama comments. While the men’s side is not as vociferous, the ladies’ voice is the most prominent when the Rugby Cranes play.