By Thomas Odongo
JOHANNESBURG - After a false outing that saw them lose 89-05 to South Africa Springboks Women during the opening match of the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup, the Uganda Lady Rugby Cranes face another crunch task in the shape of Kenya Lionesses.
In the opener, Samiya Ayikoru scored Uganda’s only try.The tournament that also doubles as the 2021 Women’s World Cup qualifier resumes this Tuesday at the Bosman stadium in Johannesburg but the East African derby is the centre of focus while hosts South Africa face Madagascar Makis.
Lady Cranes lost 19-17 in aggregate (after two legs) to Kenya a few weeks ago. Both sides were using the tournament as a major build up to the South Africa meet. Lady Cranes Coach - Edagr Lemerigar earlier on earmarked Kenya Lionesses as the side he is more wary about.
"Any kind of derby is never easy. This is the game I have more focus on because we are very familiar rivals. I know they are a bit fiercer than us but this time round we shall take the game to them," Lemerigar noted. He says stage freight could have been the major reason behind his team’s collapse during the opener.
"In the first-half, you could see the element of intimidation from the girls, but in the second-half, they put up a better show in terms of defending and realignment," he said. He now rallies his charges to come good against their arch rivals on match day two.
"Yes, going forward we can beat Kenya. We just have to fix the errors which we made against South Africa," he added. In their opening match, Kenya Lionesses beat Madagascar Makis 35-05 albeit a sloppy start to proceedings.
"We have to work on how we start our matches because we are not happy with how we played in the opening stages of the game. It is important to improve on that ahead of our next game against Uganda," Kenya captain Philadelphia Orlando said. Uganda must obtain maximum points against Kenya if they are to keep their qualification dream alive.