National rugby team holds on - Daily Nation

National rugby team retains Tusker Cup

Saturday August 16 2008

National rugby team player Humprey Khayange

National rugby team player Humprey Khayange tackles Uganda player Phillip Karumuna during the Elgon cup match at RFUEA grounds Saturday. Photo/CHRIS OMOLLO 

By THE PUNTER

Kenya’s national rugby team Saturday retained the Tusker Elgon Cup by beating Uganda 39-20 at the Rugby Football Union of East Africa grounds.

On aggregate, Kenya who lost the first leg 3-20 in May narrowly won by the two leg competition 42-40. In the women’s category, Kenya defeated Uganda 15-13 but lost 21-31 on aggregate after losing the first leg 6-18.

Coach Michael ‘Tank’ Otieno said it was always going to be difficult to fight from 0-17 down.

“It shows we can beat Uganda anytime when we have a full squad. We played territorrial with Lavin Aseko keeping Uganda at bay with neat kicks for touch,” the coach explained.

Uganda marked out Kenya’s lethal backs but the forwards who have always lived in the shadows of the Sevens players superbly held up the game upfront with Daniel Kiptoo, Wilson K’Opondo, Leslie Libasia, David Mogere and Allan Onyango outstanding.

Innocent Simiyu, Kenya’s captain added Kenya needed to be consistent. “We always have a different set of players every time which makes it difficult to stabilise,” he said.

Uganda coach Yayiro Kasasa who had predicted a tough match said they reacted to what Kenya was doing.

“Give credit to Kenya, they raised their game when it mattered. In the first half, we did not play well especially with Kenya winning in the rucks. Kenya was fired up,” the coach acknowledged.

John Musoke, Uganda’s captain agreed. “It brought us down to earth. This is what happened last year but we went on to win the Africa Cup. It was a good lesson and we will build up on it,” the captain said.

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