Kenya Simbas fall to last-minute penalty as Uganda win Victoria Cup crown in Kampala

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RUGBY Kenya Simbas fall to last-minute penalty as Uganda win Victoria Cup crown in Kampala

Joel Omotto 18:15 - 05.11.2023

Uganda grabbed their maiden Victoria Cup title after scoring a last-minute penalty to secure a narrow 21-20 victory against Kenya Simbas in Kampala on Sunday

Uganda stunned Kenya with a last-minute penalty to win their maiden Victoria Cup crown following a 21-20 victory in the title decider at the Kings Park Arena in Kampala on Sunday.

In what was an end-to-end game, Kenya scored first after profiting from lost possession from Uganda captain Ivan Magomu before the enterprising Jone Kubu danced his way past his markers to set up Joel Inzuga for Kenya’s second try.

Kubu converted for a 12-0 lead in favour of Kenya. At that point, Kenya were on the ascendancy, easily splitting the Ugandan backline with Kubu and Brian Wahinya causing the hosts plenty of problems.

Uganda then got their first penalty when Walter Okoth gave away a foul with Magomu putting it through for 12-3.

A forward pass from Kenya saw Uganda get the scrum. The Simbas then collapsed at the scrum with Magomu getting another penalty which he grabbed for 12-6.

Kenya then went through for a try but gave away a breakdown which handed Uganda a penalty but Magomu missed the chance to further reduce the arrears.

Conrad Wanyama then took advantage a lapse in concentration from Kenya to score a try for Uganda, Magomu converting as the hosts went ahead for the first time, taking a 13-12 lead which they held on until halftime.

The second half was a little subdued until the 57th minute when Uganda were penalised for a deliberate knock-on and Kubu sent the ball through the posts for a 15-13 lead for the away side.

Kubu would show good awareness to snap up a Jacob Ochieng run to the try-line after which the Ugandans had a penalty but Magomu missed.

Shortly after, Kenya were reduced to 14 men when Paul Mutsami was sin binned after falling for Conrad Wanyama’s mind games and also gave away a penalty but the Simbas were let off the hook when Magomu missed again.

At this point, it looked like the 12 missed points from the Ugandan captain’s kicking could cost his side the game.

However, Joseph Oyet collected a good pass from Magomu, beat Brain Wahinya to score a diving try for Uganda but the conversion was missed for 18-15 in favour of Uganda. Kenya had cheaply lost possession from the kick and were punished on the counter.

Joel Inzuga then thought he had won it for Kenya when he touched down for his brace, shortly after Uganda’s try, as the Simbas went ahead 20-18.

But in the dying seconds, a high tackle from the Kenyans handed Uganda a lifeline via the penalty kick.

Liam Walker stepped up this time round and with pressure on his shoulders, he coolly slotted it home to give Uganda the lead in what turned out to be the last kick of the game as the final hooter went just after, to give the hosts a 21-20 win.

It is the first Victoria Cup win for Uganda while Kenya, who last won the inaugural edition in 2010, will have to wait a little linger for their second crown.

The match also doubled up as the opening leg of the Elgon Cup and Kenya will hope to get their revenge in the return leg in Kisumu on November 11 to win the cross-boarder title.

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