- Rugby. One last push. Uganda, Zimbabwe play final 2017 Rugby Africa Gold Cup match at Legends Rugby Club with both eyeing bronze.
Uganda heads into today’s Rugby Africa Gold Cup match against Zimbabwe at Legends Club keen to leave no grounds for complacency.
While Rugby Cranes coach John Duncan believes ‘the team is in a good place’, his skipper and tight-head prop Brian Odongo says they are ‘taking this game extremely seriously’.
Tuesday’s training session at Legends showed just how serious the team is. After scrum-half Ivan Makmot cleaned up a ruck, Ivan Magomu’s offload found the hands of Musa Muwonge. But the flanker was swiftly tackled by Ronald Musajjagulyanyago. The high tackle left Muwonge on his fours with his breath coming in gasps.
“We have never trained this hard,” Odongo said at the end of the session, his face still moistened by sweat. “Guys are training with intensity.”
Three-game losing streak
Zimbabwe go into the match on the back of a three-game losing streak. The last of those losses against Gold Cup also-rans Tunisia left the Sables with egg on their face if not because the Test took place in Harare, then due to their abject kickoff receipts and tackling. Odongo, however, believes a markedly different Zimbabwe will show up today. “Our games with Zimbabwe have always been close. I don’t remember a time where [either] team has won by more than five points.”
Duncan has nonetheless urged Rugby Cranes players ‘to take the money out of the bank and spend it’ during today’s match. It is something that vice captain and second centre, Michael Wokorach intends to follow to the letter.
“It is the last game of the season. We are not going to leave anything in the tank. We are going to empty it,” he said. Justin Kimono, who scored two tries on his Rugby Cranes debut against Zimbabwe in 2011, starts at right wing.
Fly-half Magomu has been passed fit to start on the bench.
This means there will be a mini-reshuffle in Rugby Cranes backline, with Phillip Wokorach starting at No.10 and James Odong slotting into the fullback position.
Record. Past meetings vs. Zimbabwe: 10 (three wins, seven losses)
Result. Last meeting in Kampala: Uganda 15-25 Zimbabwe (2011 CAR Cup 1B tourney)