Kenya give Situma and Francombe a befitting farewell

By the punter
Jun 04, 2021
  • Darwin Mukidza scored three tries, converted five and drilled a penalty in Kenya's 48-10 win over Uganda in Kampala.

  • Eric Situma was given a rugby send off in Bumgoma. (Photo courtesy Oliver Kituyi)

  • Richard Omwela led the rugby fraternity in paying last respects to Eric Situma in Bungoma. (Photo courtesy Oliver Kituyi)

Eric Situma and David Francombe are smiling down on the Kenya rugby fraternity for giving them a fitting send off after the national team beat Uganda 48-10 in Kampala in the first leg of the annual Elgon Cup at the Legends ground.

The teams had a minute of silence to honor the players before Kenya exploded to score seven tries five of which were converted against Uganda's one converted try and a penalty.

Leading the charge was man-of-the-match (again) Darwin Mukidza who scored three tries, converted five and drilled over a penalty for a personal tally of 28 points.

It was full-back Vincent Mose who scored the first try from a quickly taken penalty and Mukidza converted for a 7-0 lead.

Mike Okombe barged over for the second to stretch the lead 12-0 before the hosts awoke from their slumber scoring a try by Charles Uhuru. Kevin Makmot converted and Philip Wokorach added a penalty for Uganda to narrow the gap 10-12 in Kenya's favor.

That is as far as Uganda went in claiming a portion of Mt. Elgon which the cup is named after. Mukidza stroked over a penalty and converted a try by Moses Amusala for Kenya to lead 22-0.

There was a brief resurgence for Uganda who rallied back and put Kenya on the back foot with Makmot delivering neat kicks for touch.

Then Mukidza dotted the ball and converted for a healthy 29-10 lead at half time.

Territorrial advantage

In this half, Maxwell Adaka was replaced by Tony Owuor. There were brief exchanges by the Kenyan and Ugandan forwards and an aerial duel in the line outs as both fly-halves opted for territorial advantage.

The second half started with Uganda who had five debutants taking an early initiative and defending well. Kenya absorbed the pressure and did not concede any points.

When Uganda ran out of steam, Nato Simiyu who came on for Isaac Adimo punched holes in the opponent's defense with sublime and tactical kicking.

He scored the first try in this half to stretch the lead 34-10. Then it was a Mukidza show. He scored his second try from a cross kick by Simiyu. He converted for a 41-10 lead before slicing through the Uganda back line for his third to take a 48-10 first leg lead.

The win brought memories of Kenya's dominance when in 2002, they beat Uganda 46-0 in the first leg.

While the Kenya team was delivering on their promise, hundreds of players, fans and the larger rugby fraternity descended on Bungoma to give Situma a befitting send off. They were led by Richard Omwela, the Kenya Rugby Union chairman.

Uganda

1. Asman Mugerwa, 2. Cyrus Wathum, 3. Brian Odongo, 4. Charles Uhuru, 5. Dennis Mulo, 6. Pius Ogena, 7. Byron Oketayot , 8. Ronald Mussajja, 9. Kevin Makmot, 10. Chris Lubanga (Robert Masendi), 11. James Odong (Ramathan Govule), 12. Gerald Sewamkambo , 13. Oscar Kalyango, 14. Micheal Wokorach, 15. Philip Wokorach; Subs: 
16. Eric Kasita, 17. Elijah Segwa, 18. Saul Kivumnbi, 19. Arthur Mpande, 20. John Wandicho, 21. Davis Kwewalabye, 22. Robert Masendi, 23. Ramathan Govule, 24. Joseph Aredo.

Kenya

1. Moses Amusala, 2. Sammy Warui, 3. Curtis Lilako, 4. Simon Muniafu, 5. Oliver Mang'eni, 6. Mike Okombe, 7. Brian Nyikuli (Captain),, 8. Maxwell Adaka, 9. Edwin Achayo, 10. Isaac Adimo (Nato Simiyu), 11. Dennis Muhanji, 12. Nick Barasa, 13. David Ambunya, 14. Darwin Mukidza, 15. Vincent Mose; Subs: 
16. Peter Karia, 17. Joseph Kang'ethe, 18. James Kang'ethe, 19. Eric Kerre, 20. Tony Owuor, 21. Dan Sikuta, 22. Lyle Asiligwa, 23. Nato Simiyu, 24. Tony Onyango.