Voice of Sport

Side misses skipper on clash with unpredictable Uganda on Saturday

Kenyans not the confident lot that could throw an ‘A’ side against Uganda in Elgon Cup rugby three seasons ago

Defence game: Patrice Agunda (right) brings down a Uganda Cranes player during their match at the Rugby Union of East Africa [RFUEA] ground, Nairobi on Saturday. Kenya coach Jerome Paarwater said the team must improve its defense shape in coming matches

DARWIN Mukidza, the Kenya Commercial Bank winger will captain Kenya on Saturday in the Elgon Cup rugby Test in Kampala because Wilson K’Opondo is out injured. But consistency in the Kenyan leadership lacks just as many things surrounding the national team that is far from confident of an away win against Uganda.

K’Opondo surprisingly recently came back to the Kenyan fold but the manner under which he left, without notice leave alone fanfare, to be replaced by Brian Nyikuli, smacked of a “use-and-dump” treatment. It is Nyikuli’s turn now and followers do not know under what circumstances he exited the team. But like many other seasoned, and by-no-means over the hill players, the immediate former Kenya skipper is said to have moved out after shabby treatment.

This is 2019 World Rugby Cup qualification year. After Kampala, the Elgon Cup return match in Nairobi on June 24 will also be a World Rugby Cup qualifier. Then, apart from maybe lighter fixtures against Tunisia and Senegal, Kenya will have an uphill task against Zimbabwe and Namibia, both curiously “away”. Rugby Afrique does not explain why Kenya almost permanently plays away in Namibia (three fixtures in a row).

Kenya captain Darwin Mukidza goes for goal with another kick at the Rugby Union of East Africa [RFUEA] ground, Nairobi on Saturday

Kenya captain Darwin Mukidza goes for goal with another kick at the Rugby Union of East Africa [RFUEA] ground, Nairobi on Saturday

Kenya are not the nation that was so confident that in 2014 and 2015, that they put out their ‘A’ side for the Elgon Cup against Uganda. Jerome Paarwater coached a team that had the experience gained from a season’s play in the South African Vodacom Cup in (March-April) 2014. The top players could afford to sit out as they watched Kenya ‘A’ toy with Uganda in the Nairobi return match of the Elgon Cup, winning 34-0. Paarwater’s big boys also had a fairy tale run in the 2015 Rugby World Cup Africa zone qualifiers beating Namibia and only being edged out by an unexpected loss to Zimbabwe that on arithmetic gave the World Cup slot to Namibia.

Things have changed. Both Namibia and Zimbabwe continue to increase their numbers of professional players in South Africa and Europe. And Namibia are now virtually a permanent fixture in South Africa’s Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup rugby.

Oliver Mang’eni grabs possession from a Kenya line-out at the RFUEA ground, Nairobi on Saturday

Oliver Mang’eni grabs possession from a Kenya line-out at the RFUEA ground, Nairobi on Saturday

Kenya has continued to lose so much of the talent that received rugby schooling in South Africa in 2014. And it certainly is not because most of them are past their playing date. Paarwater is now without the services of 26 Vodacom Cup graduates: 1 Vincent Mose, 2 Leonard Mugaisi, 3 Cyprian Kuto, 4 Leon Adongo, 5 Alvin Otieno, 6 Dennis Muhanji, 7 Austin Gumo, 8 Eden Agero, 9 Kenny Andola, 10 Augustine Lugonzo, 11 Max Theuri, 12 Edwin Achayo,  13 Lyle Asiligwa, 14 Lawrence Buyachi, 15 David Mogere, 16 Mike Okombe, 17 Edwin Makori, 18 Emmanuel Mavala, 19 Tony Mutai, 20 Ronnie Mwenesi, 21 Edward Oseko, 22 Sammy Warui, 23 Hillary Omido, 24 Steve Wakaya, 25  James Kang’ethe and 26 Joseph Kang’ethe.

It is strange that from the Kenya ‘A’ team of 2014 that comfortably dealt easily with Uganda (thrashed the Rugby Cranes 34-0 in Nairobi), few if any player have been promoted to Paarwater’s top-tier. It says a lot about whether Kenya’s development plans have a focus.

Battle of the forwards (above and below) during the Kenya v Uganda Rugby Afrique Test match in Nairobi on Saturday

Battle of the forwards (above and below) during the Kenya v Uganda Rugby Afrique Test match in Nairobi on Saturday

Uganda Rugby Cranes coach John Duncan … his team came close to beating Kenya in Nairobi Saturday, denied a penalty try at the death

Uganda Rugby Cranes coach John Duncan … his team came close to beating Kenya in Nairobi Saturday, denied a penalty try at the death

Uganda appeared upbeat when they announced their team to take on Kenya on Saturday and it includes the returning speedster Justin Kimono and Philip Wokorach who plays in Kenya for Kabras Sugar.

Rugby Cranes coaches John Duncan and Robert Seguya have injected fresh legs into the naming six uncapped players: Ivan Kirabo, Adnan Mutebi, Musa Muwonge, Aaron Ofoyrwoth, Robert Aziku and Eric Mula.

Seguya told the ‘Daily Monitor’ newspaper: “This squad is only for the game against Kenya. We have to play six fixtures this year and that is too much rugby. Therefore we shall have to rotate players in the coming games”.

The setting for the Uganda (left) v Kenya Rugby Afrique Test at the RFUEA ground, Nairobi on Saturday

The setting for the Uganda (left) v Kenya Rugby Afrique Test at the RFUEA ground, Nairobi on Saturday

KENYA tourists to Uganda:

15 Tony Onyango – (Homeboyz):

14 Darwin Mukidza, captain – (Kenya Commercial Bank)

13 David Ambunya – (Harlequins)

12 Patrice Agunda – (Harlequins)

11 Jacob Ojee (Kenya Commercial Bank):

10 Biko Adema (Nondescripts)

9 Sam Onsomu – (Impala):

1 Moses Amusala – (Kenya Commercial Bank)

2 Peter Karia – (Kenya Commercial Bank)

3 Dennis Karani – (Impala)

4 Simon Muniafu – (Impala)

5 Oliver Mang’eni – (Kenya Commercial Bank)

6 Eric Kerre – (Impala)                                       

7 Davis Chenge – (Kenya Commercial Bank)

8 Martin Owillah – (Kenya Commercial Bank)

Reserves:

16 Philip Ikambili – (Homeboyz)

17 James Kubasu – Kenya Commercial Bank)

18 Curtis Lilako – (Kenya Commercial Bank)

19 George Nyambua – (Kabras Sugar)

20 Joshua Chisanga – (Newcastle Falcons, England)

21 Kelvin Masai – (Homeboyz)

22 Isaac Adimo – (Harlequins)

23 Leo Seje – (Impala)

Management:

Chris Makachia – (Physio)

Wangila Simiyu – (Team manager)

Richard Ochieng’ – (Strength and conditioning coach)

Dominique Habimana – (Assistant coach)

Charles Ngovi – (Assistant coach)

Jerome Paarwater – (Head coach)

ELGON CUP:

Saturday, June 10:
Uganda v Kenya

4.30pm: Legends Sports Club, Kampala:

UGANDA:

15 Philip Wokorach:

14 Lawrence Sebuliba

13 Michael Wokorach

12 Pius Ogena

11 James Odong’:

10 Ivan Magomu

9 Ivan Kirabo:

1 Asuman Mugerwa

2 Alex Mubiru

3 Brian Odongo:

4 Charles Uhuru

5 Robert Aziku:

6 Bryan Asaba

 7 Scott Oluoch

8 Marvin Odongo

Replacements: 16 Cyrus Watum, 17 Collins Kimbowa, 18 Adnan Mutebi, 19 Byron Oketayot, 20 Musa Muwonge, 21 Aaron Ofoyrwoth, 22 Justin Kimono, 23 Eric Kasita

– Additional reporting by 【送料・代引手数料無料】四日市医師会看護専門学校・2ヶ月対策合格セット(15冊) Correspondents and KRU 《送料無料》 シューズボックス 【シュート】シューズBOX75HO 下駄箱 LEDライト付 4色対応 国産品 格安家具通販

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