In Summary

  • Rugby. Visitors Tunisia, bottom of the six team log, present Rugby Cranes a chance to avenge for the 41-17 loss in 2009 following the former’s losses to Namibia and Kenya.

KAMPALA.

Tunisia are there for the taking. That notwithstanding, it would be foolhardy to think that Rugby Cranes will streamroll the North Africans like Kenya did with a 100-10 result last Saturday in Nairobi.

Uganda’s first home encounter of the Africa Gold Cup at Legends today presents the national team a near-perfect opportunity to keep their commendable start to this competition that leads into the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Rugby Cranes captain Brian Odongo, part of the team that lost 41-17 to the North Africans, is circumspect. “We can’t take them lightly, they have won in Kampala before,” prop Odongo told SCORE.

Hungry & Angry
“They will also be looking to bounce back from the Kenya game which means we are playing a hungry and angry side,” he added.

A week is a long time in sport, not so?
The visitors, bottom of the six-team log where Uganda lie third on six points, behind Kenya (8) and Namibia (10) have not liked the treatment they’ve been accorded here.
Coach Hedi Momamedali and his team, 136 points in arrears, complained about their hotel, transport and training facilities.

They also came here with an under-strength side as their France-based players opted out over disagreements with their federation.

Coaches John Duncan and Robert Seguya will use this game to rotate the side that will play their most games ever in a calendar year.
“You cannot call us weak because of one or two players. We aren’t weakened by absences, I promise,” legend Seguya affirmed.

Biggest Dampener
While the tight five and central midfield remain intact, eighth man Marvin Odongo (injured) and scrumhalf Ivan Kirabo (sick) are out.

The biggest dampener came on Wednesday when wing Justin Kimono, then handed his first start in two years, pulled a hamstring with Solomon Okia getting a recall.

The 25-year old is Uganda’s third absentee for this game due to injury after eighth man Odongo (injury) and Kirabo (sick) automatically exempted themselves from the playing squad of the day.

Fly-half Ivan Magomu is promoted from the bench to get his fourth straight game with Philip Wokorach reverting to fullback.

Magomu has Aaron Ofoywroth for company as the youngster seeks to make up for being a sin-binned moments into his debut against Kenya last month. This is his first start.

Lock Mike Otto, who played for Uganda at U-19 level, could debut from the bench where Joseph Tamale, Santos Ssenteza await their chance too.

AFRICA GOLD CUP: TODAY AT 4PM
Uganda vs. Tunisia, Kampala
Kenya vs. Senegal, Nairobi
Namibia vs. Zimbabwe, Windhoek

RUBGY CRANES STARTING XV
1. Asuman Mugerwa, 2. Alex Mubiru, 3. Brian Odongo, 4. Charles Uhuru, 5. Mathias Ochwo, 6. Byron Oketayot, 7. Brian Asaba, 8. Ronald Musajjagulanyago, 9. Aaron Ofoywroth, 10. Ivan Magomu, 11. James Odong, 12. Pius Ogena, 13. Michael Wokorach, 14. Lawrence Ssebuliba, 15. Philip Wokorach

REPLACEMENTS
Joseph Tamale, Santos Ssenteza, Adnan Mutebi, Mike Otto, Cox Muhigwa, Ivan Markmot, Gerald Ssewankambo, Solomon Okia