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From the East Africa Standard
The Kenya National 15s Rugby team survived a poor show in the first half of the Victoria Cup against Uganda to win 27-10 at the RFUEA Grounds.
In what seemed to be a tense first half on Saturday, not because Uganda were playing well but because Kenya were playing poorly, the hosts mustered only 3 points against the visitors who were having a field day.
"We knew the Ugandans were going to play with their forwards and that is what they did," said Kenya Head Coach Michael Otieno. "I donít know why we couldnít arrest it early, but at least we spoke about it in the second half and we grabbed the victory," he added.
"We know we canít afford to start like that against Zimbabwe in the return leg and we will have to work harder.
Early in the second half, Uganda seemed to have the upper hand by scoring the quick try, but it was Kenya who had the last laugh after the introduction of Martin Likami who lit up the forward play.
Kenya had shied away from the contact situation in the early exchanges, but after solidifying the pack, Uganda slowly crumbled under pressure. Two mauls from the Kenyan forwards gifted Martin Likami and Ronnie Mwenesi with two tries, while a scrum deep in the Ugandan half gave debutant Brian Okwomi his first international try.
The Kenyan backs refused to be left out of action with Nato Simiyu sealing the bonus try victory with a touch down at the corner after a superb run in open play.
The try was especially special for the backs that had been kept in check for long spells by the visitors despite the inclusion of Kenya Sevens captain Humphrey Kayange.
Otieno now has his eyes set on the two next games against Zimbabwe at home in two weeks and Uganda away. Kenya already lost to Zimbabwe in Harare and they now have to beat them here in Nairobi, if they are to retain their Victoria Cup title.
Uganda, who have lost to both Zimbabwe and Kenya know their hopes of winning the Victoria Cup are shattered and thus only have the Elgon Cup to look up to. Uganda will have to overcome the 17-point deficit if they are to scoop the title from the champs.
The two encounters between Kenya and Uganda double up as both the Victoria Cup and Elgon Cup. Kenya are holders of both trophies and they hope to build on their first home win to build momentum to retain the Cups.