Uganda beat Zambia in Kampala at Kyadondo Rugby Grounds 38-22 to end their Victoria Cup home run with a win.
Uganda scored five tries against Zambia’s three on the road to the win.
As was the case against Zimbabwe, the Cranes conceded first, a full score, which saw Zambia go ahead 7-0 in just 2 minutes. The nerves were later cooled when Philip Wokorach slotted in two penalties before he set up Justin Kimono out wide to score Uganda’s first try and put the hosts in the lead for the first time. Philip missed the resulting extras.
The home side were again silenced when Zambia scored their second five pointer to the visitors ahead again but that lead did not last as Uganda’s forwards finally came into the game after a run of 7 phases saw Eliphaz Emong bundle over with a big bang for Uganda’s second try. Philip Wokorach converted to give Uganda a 18-12 lead. Not before long, Ivan Magomu located space in Zambia’s defense line and set up debutante Faraji Odugo for Uganda’s third try of the day, which Philip converted. Uganda and Zambia exchanged penalties to send the game into a 28-15 break.
After the break, Uganda were now on the front foot as Philip Wokorach danced his way to the try line for Uganda’s fourth. He missed the resultant conversion. Zambia got a try of their own after a successful turnover saw them find gaps on the short side, with the conversion putting the game to 33-22 in Uganda’s favor. A host of substitutions later, including one that saw Faraji Odugo shift from hooker to the winger, Desire Ayera scored Uganda’s fifth try with an eighth man pick off a scrum.
The back rower was named man of the match for his efforts.
“15s rugby has tested me and I am feeling actually good. I want to thank all fans who came through for us after the losses. It is good that I feel we have revenged for the Barthes U20 loss to Zambia,” said an elated Desire Ayera.
“My boys deserved it. We have worked hard for it after the losses to Kenya, and Zimbabwe. I am now feeling good ahead of Zimbabwe and Zambia away. We ask the fans to be only on our side,” recapped a victorious Asuman Mugerwa, captain of the Rugby Cranes.