All it took was a little time and that confidence that has been solely lacking over the last few years. After last Saturdayâ€™s victory against Kenya in Nairobi, Ugandan rugby can now finally believe in itself
Kenya 22 Uganda 30
All it took was a little time and that confidence that has been solely lacking over the last few years. After last Saturdayâ€™s victory against Kenya in Nairobi, Ugandan rugby can now finally believe in itself, with the confidence that now the country can finally play right there with the big boys.
â€œSince 1999 when Uganda beat Kenya twice in one week in the Safari Sevens, the game has been there,â€ Tolbert Onyango, former Kenyan international and former coach of Uganda, told The New Vision.
â€œThe players just needed confidence that there was really nothing special about the Kenyans. It was just a matter of time before that happened. Now it is about playing with the heart, and wanting the win more than the other,â€ he said.
And for the record, Onyango said he was with the Kenyan players before the game, and they were boasting they would beat Uganda 50-0. Till the game ended.
â€œIâ€™ve never seen Uganda play like that, they continually brought the game to us and gave us no room to play our game,â€ Kenyan captain Benjamin Ayimba admitted after the game.
â€œThey deserved the win.â€
Saturday was also the time when players came into their own.
Undoubtedly, the day belonged to Robert Seguya, whose six penalties and one conversion carried the day for Uganda. And then there was 19-year-old Timothy Mudhoola, whose last minute try was mistakenly attributed to Brian Tindikahwa in the initial confusion after the game.
â€œIâ€™ve played for the national team for many years and I have yet to score a try,â€ said former national captain Nathan Wasolo.
â€œThen here comes Timothy, a fresher at university, 19 years old and his first time on the team, he makes that very important try. Watch this guy, he has a bright future ahead of him.â€
So, bring on Botswana. That small, west-southern African country has not played much rugby outside their region, so not much is known about their game. But Uganda captain Herbert Wafula is not worried.
â€œI donâ€™t think we have much to worry about from Botswana,â€ Wafula said.
â€œI last saw them play Kenya in a friendly in 1992, and then, it was a mainly expatriate team. I donâ€™t think they have changed much.â€
In their qualifying games in the Southern Pool of the Six-Nations tournament, Botswana beat Zambia in Gaborone, and drew away with Swaziland.
Uganda has played Swaziland before and beat them comfortably in the Safari Sevens, so Wafula reckons if the Tswanas drew with the Swazis, their level might be even.
â€œWe stand a very good chance against Botswana,â€ Wafula said.
â€œWe have no injuries from both the Kenyan and Cameroon games, so we just have to stay focused, not get overconfident, and everything should turn out alright,â€ he added.
October 26 is the D-day.
Uganda regains lost rugby might