Rugby Cranes fall to Algeria but stay top


Uganda 16-22 Algeria

The Uganda Rugby Cranes maintained the top spot in Pool C of the Rugby Africa Cup despite a shock 16-22 loss to Algeria at Kyadondo Rugby Grounds on Sunday.

Brian Makalama’s charges were fancied to get a routine win on home soil but found themselves behind early in the game and their charge to a comeback was futile.

The Lion Cubs of Algeria had their backs against the wall having lost their opener to Ghana and only a victory would keep them in position to progress to the quarters.

The Algerians pummeled the Cranes scrum and dominated proceedings.

Tries from Brian Odongo and Adrian Kasito sandwiched Ivan Magomu’s penalty and seemed to have settled the early nerves in the first half but Algeria held their ground to go into the halftime break with a 15-13 advantage.

Algeria got the first points of the second stanza with a converted try off a well-executed line out and they led 22-13.

The Cranes got a penalty and the tee was switched from Aaron Ofoyrwoth to Maxwell Ebonga. The Jinja Hippos back split the posts to cut the deficit but Algeria ensured there was no way back for the hosts.

Having run in eight tries against Ghana in the opener, the Cranes had enough cushion going into the game and they remained top of the log with a much better points difference.

Uganda will now face Kenya Simbas who finished second in Pool B in what will be an East African battle.

Algeria finished second ahead of Ghana and will play will face Pool C winners Senegal.

The top two sides from the four groups will play the quarters in 2022 with the winner of the Africa Cup qualifying for the Rugby World.

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Published: 07/20/2021