Uganda are the 2023 Victoria Cup champions
By Emmanuel Sekago
Kenya- Simbas over the weekend relinquished the Victoria Cup as they lost 21-20 to Uganda Rugby cranes at Kings Park Rugby ground.
It was really a sobering afternoon for the visitors, who were once again penalised at the breakdown in a topsy-turvy affair played on slippery ground while at the same time it was happiness and tears of Joy as Uganda players and fans ran riot not believing in downing the neighbours.
The Kenya-Simbas started brightly and took a deserved third-minute lead when fullback Jone Kubu sliced open the Uganda defense for the opening try which was not converted for a 5-0 lead.
Kubu turned provider minutes later, laying Joel Inzuga to cross the line with Kubu converting for a 12-0 lead. Uganda came from behind trailing 12-0 to stun Kenya Simbas 21-20 in a closely contested final staged at the King’s Park Arena in Bweyogerere, Uganda on Sunday.
The Simbas had a dream start to this fixture, Teddy Akala’s unconverted try from the rolling maul putting them 5-0 up after five minutes of play.
More Simbas pressure and excellent play from their backs saw Jone Kubu play in Joel Inzuga for the five pointer, Kubu converting to see the Simbas lead 12-0 after ten minutes of play.
And then the tide turned, serial indiscipline from the Simbas met by the accuracy of Ivan Magomu’s right foot, two penalties and a conversion from a try putting Uganda 13-12 up at the break.
The second half remained an arm wrestle, the Kenya- Simbas let off the hook from two missed Magomu penalties before Kubu drilled home a penalty to see the Kenya-Simbas retake the lead, 15-13 on fifty six minutes.
A second Uganda try saw them go 18-15 up before Inzuga landed his brace, the Kenya-Simbas leading 20-18 until Liam Walker’s penalty at the death won the game and regional bragging rights for Uganda.
Meanwhile, the guest of honor the deputy speaker Rt Hon Tayebwa and State minister for sports also Ngariam county member of parliament Hon Ogwang Peter couldn’t hide their happiness after the final whistle at Kings Park rugby ground.