Kenya beat Uganda in 1st leg of 2009 Elgon cup
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Kenya have climbed one place in the IRB World Rankings to 39th on the back of a 30-22 victory over Uganda in the first leg of their annual Elgon Cup battle at the Rugby Football Union of East Africa Grounds in Nairobi on Saturday.
The Kenyan's improved their rating by 0.66 to climb above Ivory Coast and to within three tenths of Lithuania above them in 38th. The defeat has seen Uganda slide one place to 43rd, swapping places with Croatia.
Both sides had injury worries going into the match with regular captains Innocent Simiyu and John Musoke sidelined, but while Uganda showed some fluidity among their forwards it was the Kenyans who had the upperhand out in the backs.
Kenya established a 17-5 lead inside the first half hour with centre Biko Adema crossing twice and flanker Andrew Amonde also touching down to cancel out Robert Seguya's try for Uganda. However the half time deficit would be only seven after George-Scott Oluoch scored Uganda's second try.
Tries from Wilson Kopondo and Dan Weku in the 10 minutes after the restart stretched that advantage to 27-10 before centre Paul Kambazi crossed for Uganda just past the hour mark.
Kenya can only get better
Vincent Mose's penalty again reasserted Kenya's lead, but they will only take an eight point lead into the second leg in the Ugandan capital Kampala on 29 August after a flowing move by the backs resulted in a try for the visitors' Mathias Ochwo.
"This is a good outcome and the gap is manageable," admitted Uganda coach Yayiro Kasasa. "We managed to take the Kenyans on in the forwards because we knew they had pace in the backs. I am happy because we were not at full strength."
His counterpart Michael 'Tank' Otieno was not too worried about the slender advantage, insisting that although they "are under pressure for the second leg, there is no worry. There is much more depth.
"We allowed Uganda to score some soft tries, made some blunders in the kick offs and lost scrum downs. The kicks for goal were worrying also because we missed at least 11 points!"
Kenya captain Michael Aung added: "It can only get better. We made too many mistakes. The match against Uganda was always going to be very competitive and we can still win in Uganda."
Record win for Kenya women
The Elgon Cup may still be all to play for in Kampala, but Kenya's women took a giant step to claiming the silverware for the first time with an emphatic 38-5 victory over Uganda's Lady Cranes in the curtain raiser to the men's tussle.
It took some 25 minutes for Kenya to open the scoring, but once they got into their stride there was no stopping them as they secured their biggest ever victory over Uganda, who had created their own piece of history by playing in the first ever Women's Rugby World Cup Sevens in Dubai back in March.
Kenyan women, carrying a 38-5 lead, completed the double despite having earlier lost 0-12 to Uganda.
2009 Elgon Cup results- Men: Uganda 18-13 Kenya; Women: Uganda 12-0 Kenya
Elgon Cup winners: 2004- Kenya; 2005- Not held; 2006- Uganda; 2007- Kenya; 2008- Kenya; 2009- Kenya