Kenya Simbas and Uganda Cranes started their Rugby Africa Gold Cup 2017 by sharing spoils in Nairobi as both sides drew 33-33 on Saturday June 24, 2017.
Uganda ran in three tries, four penalties and two conversions against Kenya’s three tries, three penalties, one conversion and a penalty try.
Man of the match Philip Wokorach scored four penalties for Uganda as well as two conversions as Mathias Ochwo, Brian Asaba and Michael Wokorach touched down.
Kenya’s points (penalties and conversions) were sent in by Darwin Mukidza with Jacob Ojee bagging a double to add to Moses Amusala’s try and final penalty try.
Kenya however won Elgon Cup with an aggregate of 56-51 courtesy of first leg’s 23-18 win in Kampala.
The two sides continue with their Rugby Africa Gold Cup as Kenya hosts Tunisia on Saturday July 8 while Uganda heads to Dakar for a clash with Senegal on Saturday July 1.
Zimbabwe were other winners of the day beating new boys Senegal 28-16 in Dakar to kick-start their 2017 journey with a win and top the standings.
Uganda took lead through Philip Wokorach’s penalty before they added the lead to 10-0 via Mathias Ochwo’s try that was converted by Wokorach.
Kenya tried to break Uganda;s defence through three penalties but Eric Kerre, Jacob Ojee and David Ambunya were all stopped by the Ugandan defence before Darwin Mukidza decided to go for points in the fourth attempt.
Kenya won a scrum to see scrum-half Samson Onsomu set up Tony Onyango who off-loaded to David Ambunya before the latter passed to Ojee to land Kenya’s first try and bring scores to 8-10.
Mukidza was however not sure with his kick sending his conversion short before Kenya capitalized on Uganda’s Pius Ogena’s sinbin to lbag second try though Moses Amusala and Mukidza sent the conversion yet again.
Wokorach was at it again sending a penalty in to draw 13-13 but Mukidza’s penalty ensured the Simbas lead 16-13 at the break.
Cranes returned in the second half with a bang as Brian Asaba scored off a maul to lead 20-16. Wokorach had a drop-kick attempt but he wasn’t successful moments before Ojee added his second after getting a pass from Mukidza to lead 23-20 after the extras.
KCB captain Curtis Lilako came in at this moment for Dennis Karani before Kenya were dealt with a huge blow as Simon Muniafu was ruled out with a concusion to be replaced by Kabras Sugar’s George Nyambua.
Mwamba’s Brad Owako also received his debut coming in for Patrice Agunda and the changes paid off as Kenya won a penalty and Mukidza was sure with his kick to make it 26-20.
Moses Amusala’s day came to an end after Mukidza’s kick as he was replaced by James Kubasu who was receiving his second test while Joshua Chisanga went out for Homeboyz backrow Steve Otieno to make his debut.
Wokorach would reduce the deficit for Uganda and take a lead with two consecutive penalties and looked like they would win it after Michael Wokorach grabbed a try in the second half with Philip Wokorach converting it but that was not the case as Kenya was awarded a penalty try after a foul on Joshua Chisanga who had returned again.
Credit : Eric Njiru