Kenya Simbas dare Uganda ahead of Elgons Cup final in Kisumu

Kenya Simbas captain George Nyambua (far right) poses during the Captain's Shoot alongside Uganda Lady Cranes captain Asha Nakityo, Kenya Lionesses captain Enid Ouma and Uganda Cranes captain Ivan Magomu in Kisumu. [Washington Onyango,Standard]

Kenya Simbas will be seeking to redeem themselves on Saturday when they face off against Uganda Cranes in the 2023 Elgons Cup final set to be played at Jomo Kenyatta Stadium in Mamboleo, Kisumu.

After a narrow 21-20 defeat last Sunday during the Victoria Cup finals at the King's Park Arena in Bweyogerere, Kampala, the Simbas, under the leadership of captain George Nyambua, are determined to bounce back and reclaim their pride on home turf.

Nyambua, addressing the media ahead of the encounter, exuded confidence in his team's ability to overcome the recent setback.

Kenya Simbas captain George Nyambua.[Washington Onyango,Standard]

"We are looking forward to bouncing back," he declared, acknowledging the mistakes made in the previous match. Poor set pieces and low points conversion rates were pinpointed by Nyambua as areas the team has diligently worked on in preparation for the Elgon Cup final.

The match, scheduled to kick off at 4 pm local time, promises to be a riveting display of rugby prowess between two East African powerhouses.

The Elgon Cup, an annual fixture since 2004, is a symbol of the intense rugby rivalry and sportsmanship between Kenya and Uganda. With matches played in a home-and-away format, the cup has been a testament to the enduring spirit of competition between the neighboring nations.

Adding to the excitement, the Elgon Cup final will be preceded by a clash between the women's teams, with Kenya Lionesses taking on Uganda Lady Cranes. Lioness captain Enid Ouma expressed confidence in her team's preparation, highlighting their test matches in South Africa as a crucial part of their readiness for the final.

The absence of the Elgon Cup in 2020-2022 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic has only intensified the anticipation for this year's final.

Kenya Simbas captain George Nyambua (far right) poses during the Captain's Shoot alongside Uganda Lady Cranes captain Asha Nakityo, Kenya Lionesses captain Enid Ouma and Uganda Cranes captain Ivan Magomu in Kisumu. [Washington Onyango,Standard]

The Jomo Kenyatta Stadium is expected to be filled with fervent fans, eager to witness the resurgence of Kenya Simbas and the Lionesses on their quest for victoryKenya has won 14 of the previous 28 encounters with Uganda while the Lionesses have won 10.

Meanwhile, there are five changes to the Simbas starting fifteen ahead of the clash against Uganda.

Two of these changes are in the front row where Eugene Sifuna returns to start at hooker after missing the tour of Uganda due to academic commitments.

Kenya Lionesses captain Enid Ouma (left) poses during the Elgons Cup Captain's Shoot alongside Uganda Lady Cranes captain Asha Nakityo in Kisumu. [Washington Onyango,Standard]

He is partnered by Ephraim Oduor at loose head and Hillary Mwanjilwa at tight head. The duo start ahead of Wilhite Mususi and Teddy Akala who are among the match day replacements.

Elekeans Musonye returns at openside flank as Paul Mutsami is given the nod at inside center, partnering with Bryceson Adaka in midfield while Derrick Ashiundu returns to the wing, replacing Alfred Orege who misses out on the match day squad through injury.

Squad

15.Brian Wahinya, 14. Joel Inzuga, 13. Bryceson Adaka, 12. Paul Mutsami, 11. Derrick Ashiundu, 10. Jone Kubu, 9. Barry Young, 1. Ephraim Oduor, 2. Eugene Sifuna, 3. Hillary Mwanjilwa, 4. Hibrahim Ayoo, 5. Hillary Odhiambo, 6. George Nyambua (Captain), 7. Elkeans Musonye, 8. Jeanson Misoga

REPLACEMENTS 16. Teddy Akala, 17. Thomas Okidia, 18. Wilhite Mususi, 19. Brian Ndirangu, 20. Peter Waitere, 21. Dan Ang’wech, 22. Shem Okola (debut), 23. Andrew Matoka

By AFP 22 hrs ago
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