Kenya 15s national team skipper Darwin Mukidza pointed to head coach Jerome Paarwater’s motivational half time talk as the ingredient that saw Simbas rally to beat Uganda Cranes 23-18 in an entertaining Elgon Cup first leg match at Legends Rugby Club, Kampala on Saturday.
Cranes, with vociferous backing from their home fans charged to a first half lead of 18 – 10 before Kenya turned tables on their neighbors in the second half and Mukidza, who was standing in for the injured Wilson Kopondo was glad at the turnaround
“Our starting was largely inconsistent, something that changed in the second half. The head coach played a key part at the interval, ” said Mukidza
Samson Onsomu and eighth man Martin Owila scored tries and slotted in three penalties to spur Simbas to victory in the closely-contested match.
The return leg of this annual series will be held on June 24 in Nairobi.
The fixture will also double up as the Africa Rugby Gold Cup qualifier and has the hallmarks of being another close affair.
The result showed great improvement from Cranes, who last year lost 48-10 in the first leg in Kampala and 45-24 in Nairobi to see the Simbas recapture the Elgon Cup 93-34 on aggregate.