Kenya Lionesses to the rescue

By the punter
Jul 12, 2021
  • Celestine "Nava" Masinde scored two tries for Kenya Lionesses against Uganda in the first leg of Elgon Cup at the Kyadondo RFC ground in Kampala, Uganda on Sunday.

Kenya Lionesses, the women’s national rugby team saved a complete whitewash by Ugandan teams in the first leg of the annual Elgon Cup at the Kyadondo RFC ground in Kampala on Saturday.

The women’s team were quick off the starting blocks but were neutralized by Uganda who tied the scores 12-12. Kenya Lionesses however re-organized and won 33-15 to have a good advantage in the second leg to be played in Nairobi next week.

Kenya Lionesses led 19-12 at half time. Winger Janet Okello scored the first try in the fifth minute and Irene Owino converted for a 7-0 lead. Fortunate Irankunda replied for Uganda with a try in the 14th minute.

It took only four minutes for Kenya to draw more blood when center Janet Owino crossed the line for the second try as Kenya Lionesses led 12-5.

Uganda hooker Irankuda completed her brace in the 35th minute and full-back Rachel Kakaire converted to tie the scores 12-12.

Three minutes to the end of this half, full back Irene Awino scored and converted her own try for a 19-12 lead at halftime.

At the start of the second half, coach Enos Otieno substituted prop Emily Achieng with Sheila Chanjira and four minutes later made another change with Clementine Atieno going in at lock for Millicent Opala.

There was a lull before Celestine 'Nava' Masinde scored two tries in the 71nd and 80th minutes for a bonus win. Irene Awino converted both tries. Uganda managed only one penalty in this half.

The only yellow card was given to Camylyn Oyuayo in the 75th minute. But, the match was already won, the biggest win by the women's team in Uganda. 

No such luck

There was no such luck for the Kenya under-19 team which was beaten 15-10 and the Kenya A side who lost 14-21.

Paul Murunga, the Kenya under-19 coach said the match was close and could have gone either way. Uganda led 15-10 at halftime and there were no points scored in the second half.

“It was not a bad outing for the boys. For the return leg, we will work more on the team play and am sure of good results,” the coach said.

Center, Jaffrey Oluoch, the under-19 captain scored the try which was converted by scrum-half Martin Mukolwe. He added a penalty.

For the Kenya A, Godfrey Mbeya and Nato Simiyu scored one try each. Isaac Adimo converted both tries.

Uganda were quick at the breakdown points and were solid as a team with good coordination while the Kenya A side relied on individual play. Winger Justin Kimono had a field day with the other winger Jonathan “Bishop” Onen also measuring up.

It was the forwards who set up a good platform for their running backs. While Kenya A which was hurriedly assembled and had no single player from the team that played at the RWC qualifiers in Madagascar, Uganda Cranes made five changes to the team that travelled to Tunisia for the CAR Division 1B competition.

At halftime, Uganda had a narrow 8-7 lead. Kevin Makmot opened the scores for Uganda with a penalty. Uganda Cranes were also awarded a penalty try whick Makmot converted.

The stage is now set for the return leg in Nairobi next week with Kenya needing a win to ensure the trophy remains at home. 

Summarized Elgon Cup scores

Uganda under-19 15 Kenya under-19 10; Uganda 15 Kenya Lionesses 33; Uganda Cranes 15 Kenya A 14.

Kenya teams

Lionesses: Keziah Achieng’, Rosehilda Kamanga, Emily Achieng, Rachael Adhiambo, Millicent Opala, Stacy Awuor, Camilyn Oyuayo, Mary Otieno, Mary Musieka, Doreen Remour, Linda Nandwa, Janet Owino, Celestine Masinde, Janet Okello, Irene Awino, Janet Midecha, Winnie Naima, Clementine Atieno, Sheila Chajira, Dorcas Ocholi, Gentrix Mwaro, Evelyn Odero, Linet Moraa. Officials: Angela Olum (team manager), Enos Otieno (head coach), Kevin Wambua (assistant coach), Ben Mahinda (physiotherapist).

Kenya A: Giles Littlewood (Ndovu/ Nakuru), Peter Karia (Papa/ KCB), Antony Orege (Strathmore University), Andrew Chogo (Technical University of Kenya), Malcom Onsando (Kenya Harlequins FC), Phillip Owuor, Edwin Makori, Dalmus Chitui (Ndovu/ Nakuru), George Mutuku (Kifaru/Mean Machine), Isaac Adimo (Quins), Leon Adongo (Impala), Calvin Omiyo (Ndovu/ Nakuru), Fabian Olando (KCB), George Mbeya (Ndovu/ Nakuru), Jacob Ojee (KCB), Dennis Mukabi (Papa/KCB), Ezra Langat (Kifaru/Blak Blad), Dennis Karani (Chui/Impala), Ian Sagara (Papa/KCB), Elkins Musonye (Ndovu/Western Bulls), Eden Agero (Quins), Nato Simiyu (Chui/Impala), Calvin Otieno (Ndovu/Nakuru). Officials: Dominique Habimana (Head Coach), Newton Ong'alo (Team Manager), Joseph Kolli (Physiotherapy), Michael Shamia (Strength and Conditioning coach).

Under-19: Meshack Tunnechi, Joseph Amalemba, Kelvin Okal, Herman Humwa, Simon Muniafu, John paul Muriuki, Felix Ojow, Warren Nyanjom, Marlin Mukolwe, Kelvin Masai, Nelson Sungura, Jeff Oluoch, Alex Olaba, Edgar Khafumi, Hosea Nyerere, Jimmy Mwangi, Daniel Ndome, Tyson Okoth, Keith Wasike, Victor Shigoli, Longinus Okumu, John Oduk, Iam Omondi. Officials: Paul Murunga (Head coach), Nick Abala (assistant coach), Joseph Okong’o (team manager).