Rugby Africa Watch: Review of Round 4 of Gold Cup

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RWU HEADQUARTERS – The 2018 edition of the Rugby Africa Gold Cup, a qualifier for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, will be played from 16 June to 18 August by the national teams of Namibia, Kenya, Uganda, Morocco, Zimbabwe and Tunisia.

In Round 4 on the weekend of July 7th saw Kenya take on Uganda and Tunisia against Zimbabwe.

Kenya defeat Uganda to win Elgon Cup

On Saturday July 7, the Kenya Simbas played against the Uganda Cranes during the 2018 Rugby Africa Gold Cup, a qualifier for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Kenya beat the neighbors 38-22 to bag their third win of the Africa Gold Cup.

Kenya scored five converted tries and one penalty against Uganda’s four tries and one conversion. For the win, Kenya picks four points in the Africa Gold Cup to stay second with 12 as Namibia leads with 15.

Kenya’s five tries were scored by winger Jacob Ojee, captain Davies Chenge, half-back Samson Onsomu, winger Felix Ayange (see right) and prop Moses Amusala with Darwin Mukidza converting all.

Kabras Sugar winger Philip Wokorach scored two tries with centre Michael Wokorach and fly-half Ivan Magomu also getting on the score-sheet.

Returning winger Jacob Ojee got things going for Kenya with his first try of 2018 with vice-captain converting to ensure a perfect start for the home side.

Philip Wokorach, who plays his professional rugby with Kenyan side Kabras Sugar, gave Uganda first try but he sent the conversion wide only for Kenyan captain Davies Chenge to to double Kenya’s lead.

Scrum-half Samson Onsomu and winger Felix Ayange’s back to back tries saw Kenya lead 28-5 at the break.

Uganda got life going in the second half scoring through Ivan Magomu and Michael Wokorach to move the score to 17-31 with Philip Wokorach adding his second to reduce he deficit to 22-31.

A late try from substitute Moses Amusala ensured Kenya pick a 38-22 win over Uganda whose chances of qualifying for the World Cup now hang on the balance.

Uganda Coach John Duncan admitted their chances of direct qualification to the World Cup may go gone after losing their second game with focus now set to turn to the global repechage.

“That (qualifying for the World Cup) was obviously one of the goals, we control our destiny we didn’t get there but by the end of the day we are still a good team. It’s a pleasure to coach these boys but the end of the day it’s not the result we wanted.”

“If you play a good team and allow them to get 31 points it’s going to be a tough challenge. I am very proud of the boys for fighting the way back to the challenge, they stuck to the plan which am very happy about.”

Kenya assistant coach Murray Roulston was pleased with the win against a strong Ugandan side that would have completed a comeback but time was not on their side.

“Uganda played very well in the second half it’s a big week just like last week against Zimbabwe but we got a good start in the first half. We improved the game from last week and there is still more but we are very happy with the boys and we look forward to the next round of matches.”

Uganda’s next game will be against Tunisia on August 4, 2018 in what will be their first home game of the season.

The Kenyan side will await Tunisia from Uganda to host them on August 11 before heading out to Namibia for season finale.

Tunisia win against Zimbabwe

On Saturday, July 7th, 2018, the Tunisian Rugby team played against the Zimbabwe Rugby team during the Rugby Africa Gold Cup, a qualifier for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. In a very exciting game. Tunisia beat its opponent 18-14, to earn 4 points in the competition.

Just 6 minutes into the game, Mohamed Ali Gafsi camed close to giving Tunisia the lead when he missed a penalty.

At minute 24, Mohamed Mliss scored Tunisia’s leading 5 points. His team-mate, Mohamed Ali Gafsi, failed to score the conversion attempt.

Tunisia’s lead was shortlived. 3 minutes later, Lenience Tambwagra tied the score for Zimbabwe from a try and successfully scored the conversion attempt, putting his team at a 7-5 lead that lasted through the 1st half.

Lenience Tambwagra came back once again at minute 51 to deepen Tunisia’s wounds when he scored and successfully converted an attempt. Zimbabwe were now at a comfortable 14-5 lead.

Mohamed Ali Gafsi scored a penalty for Tunisia at 57 minutes only for his team-mate, Issam Ouerhani to return 4 minutes later and score once again for Tunisia.

After Gafsi successfully scored the conversion attempt, Tunisia were now back in the lead with 15-14

In the final moments of the game, Tunisia were able to secure their victory after they scored 3 more points before the referee blew the final whistle, officially awarding Tunisia the match points.

Tunisia coach Ahmed Guerbech shared his excitement:

“On the international level, we beat Zimbabwe last year. We prepared well for this game. We still have 3 more games that are not going to be easy, 2 of which are away games. Today, we guaranteed an 80% chance of staying in Group A. The players spared no effort and they were true gladiators on the pitch, they made sacrifices by leaving everything behind and joining the team. Bravo to the team”

Zimbabwe coach Jacob Stoman also added: “What went wrong was obviously costly errors from our end. Each time we made a mistake, it got Tunisia back in the game. We lacked composure. Tunisia took advantage of that window of mistakes, that what sport is about, when you are given an opportunity, take it and go for it.”

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And as always, stay low and keep pumping those legs.

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Born in Osu, Accra, Ghana, West Africa, Junoir Blaber is a rare commodity; while most Ghanians eat, sleep and dream Soccer (football), Junoir is all about Rugby. A self-proclaimed Rugbyologist, he has been involved in Rugby as a ref, coach, administrator and player since Columbus discovered Ohio. His useful/trivial rugby knowledge qualify Blaber as RWU's Senior Correspondent & known in rugby circles as The Rugby Rain Man. He can also be found moonlighting for our American partners at MeetTheMatts.com.

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