Uganda host champions Namibia in what promises to be a thrilling Rugby Africa Gold Cup tie in Kampala on Saturday.
The Cranes as Uganda men’s rugby team are affectionately called, have been the feel good story of this competition over the last 14 months.
In the past they would have been a somewhat guaranteed win for Kenya, Zimbabwe and Namibia but that is not the case anymore.
Certainly their new coaching group headed by South African John Duncan has added more finesse to the grunt that the side is usually known for.
Duncan who is brother to Rory Duncan, the former Sharks and Cheetahs lock and now Head Coach of the Toyota Cheetahs, has shown to be just as shrewd a mentor as his more esteemed brother.
Last year he steered his side to a memorable victory over Zimbabwe in Harare and again in the 2017 Africa Gold Cup opener, inspired his charges to an impressive draw against their nemesis Kenya, who have bettered the Cranes in many of their previous meetings over the years.
Uganda are coming off a huge 78-17 win over Tunisia last week where they were dominant in every facet of play. However they won’t have it as easy this week against the champions and will need to devise a game plan that nullifies the more technical and better conditioned Namibians.
The ability to reset their defensive line quickly will be crucial in this tie as Namibia thrive on turnover ball and can quickly punish any jagged line of defence with their dangerous strike runners.
Namibia who just snatched victory away from Zimbabwe with a score of 31-26 last week in Windhoek, will know that they were very lucky to record a win and must surely be better against a vastly improved Uganda if they are to maintain their perfect start to the season.
They will be looking to start off well something they didn’t do against the Sables. They also need to shore up the scrum where they uncharacteristically struggled, giving away a lot of crucial penalties.
A win in Kampala will almost seal their place at the top of the log and with that retaining championship for 2017.
Date : 22 July 2017
Time : 11:30 GMT
Venue : Legends Rugby Grounds, Kampala
Broadcast : Live on Kwesé ESPN Facebook Page
Credit : Kyros Sports