Hosts Uganda are the champions of the regional Victoria Rugby Cup 2023.
The Uganda Rugby Cranes emerged victorious by narrowly defeating their fierce rivals, Kenya, with a final score of 21-20 in a fiercely contested match held at the Kings Park Arena in Bweyogerere on a Sunday.
The game began with the Kenya Simbas taking a strong lead, with Joel Inzuga scoring two tries and Jone Kubu converting one to give Kenya a 12-0 advantage.
However, with determination and the support of their home crowd, the Ugandan team made a comeback.
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They scored two penalty conversions, expertly executed by their captain, Ivan Magomu, narrowing the deficit to 6-12.
The tides then turned, serial indiscipline from the Simbas met by the accuracy of Ivan Magomu’s right foot, two penalties and a conversion from a try put Uganda 13-12 up at the break.
After the break, Kenya briefly regained the lead with Kubu converting a penalty.
Later, Joel Inzuga managed another try for Kenya, but a substitute, Liam Walker, came off the bench to secure the championship for the hosts with a crucial penalty.
“We have ourselves to blame and I talk full responsibility,” said Simbas assistant coach,Carlos Katywa.
Fred Mudoola, the Uganda coach, said he was proud of his team that won all the two matches against Zambia and Kenya.
“It is through hard work that we have lifted this trophy we last won in 2010,” added the coach.
Uganda commenced their campaign with a dominant 30-8 victory over Zambia, while Kenya also secured a convincing 36-12 win over Zambia.