InternationalNational 15s

The Gold Cup is back this weekend

After a four week’s pause to allow teams (Uganda, Zimbabwe and Kenya) to take part in the rugby sevens world cup in San Francisco last month and other teams to replenish, Africa’s premium rugby competition returns this weekend (Saturday 4th August) in it’s fifth game day.

The first game of the weekend is in Kampala as 2007 CAR Champions, Uganda Rugby Cranes, will be hosting Tunisia. Uganda hasn’t heard the best entries into the competition, being baptized 55-06 by Gold Cup reigning Champions Namibia and then losing 38-22 against perennial rivals and East African neighbors, Kenya Simbas. Tunisia, too, didn’t survive the Namibian onslaught, moonlighting through their 118-00 loss in Windhoek in June before beating Zimbabwe 18-14 in Tunis in July in a game whose build up was marred by accommodation controversy.

Uganda’s Phillip Wokorach attempts to beat Kenya’s Onsamu and Owilah in a recent Gold Cup game.

Following their purported mistreatment and eventual loss in Tunisia in July, the Zimbabwean Sables will at home hosting table leading Namibia. Coach De Villers’s Zimbabwe had an infamous 23-all draw in their first game this year against Morocco before going on lose consecutive games i.e. 45-36 loss to Kenya before losing 18-14 to Tunisia a week later on 7th July. Namibia are enjoying a hot patch of form having come out on top in all the three games they have played. The Welwitschias were 55-06 home winners against Uganda on Gold Cup opening day, before going on to record the Gold Cup’s biggest win ever registered, beating Tunisia 118-00. In almost similar fashion away to Morocco, Namibia were 63-07 winners to strengthen their grasp of the top spot.

Kenya, who are the closest to catching Namibia are not in action until 11th August when they host Tunisia in Nairobi, in a game week where Namibia won’t be in action. With a win for Kenya in that game, the Gold Cup will be set up for a grand finale between Kenya and Namibia for the top spot.

The winner of the Gold Cup is assured of a place in Group B through automatic qualification as Africa 1 alongside defending champions New Zealand, African giants South Africa and Italy. Coincidentally, the winner of the repechage tournament qualifier joins the teams in Group B; and it could be another African team athe runners up of the Gold Cup have a last qualification chance in the repechange tournament.

Gold Cup results thus far:

16 June 2018

Zimbabwe 23 Morocco 23

Namibia 55 Uganda 6

23 June 2018

Namibia 118 Tunisia 0

Morocco 24 Kenya 28

30 June 2018

Kenya 45 Zimbabwe 36

Morocco 7 Namibia 63

7 July 2018

Kenya 38 Uganda 22

Tunisia 18 Zimbabwe 14


Gold Cup remaining fixtures:

4 August 2018

Uganda v Tunisia

Zimbabwe v Namibia

11 August 2018

Uganda v Morocco

Kenya v Tunisia

18 August 2018

Uganda v Zimbabwe

Namibia v Kenya

Tunisia v Morocco


Gold Cup Table Standings:

Africa Gold Cup Standings as of July 7

1.Namibia 15 pts
2.Kenya 12 pts
3.Tunisia 4 pts
4.Morocco 3 pts
5.Zimbabwe 3 pts
6.Uganda 0 pts