African Rugby: Lady Rugby Cranes look ahead,following win over Zimbabwe

Captain Peace Lekuru and Emilly Lekuru scored half the points, that the Lady Rugby Cranes needed to defeat Zimbabwe in their Africa Rugby Pool ‘C’ game on Wednesday 14th July 2021 at Kyadondo rugby club, Lugogo.

The Lady Rugby Cranes recorded a 41-0 win over Zimbabwe, in what was the first meeting between the two sides. But also a major victory for Uganda’s ladies national rugby team, who have been quite irregular on the international scene since 2016 in 15s rugby.

In fact, the result is the biggest for the Lady Rugby Cranes in recent years. Coach Leonard Lubambula noted that it is a pointer to the great aspirations this team has. Lubambula said: “We are building something good, because this team has the talent and skill, to achieve some good things if we continue to give them the opportunity.”

Regarding opportunity, Lubambula was suggesting that if this team can be given more exposure in terms of games, then they will inevitably improve, and make the result, like the one against Zimbabwe, routine.

Back in 2019, Uganda lost to Kenya in the Elgon Cup by over 40 points. This was an outcome that did not seat pretty in the eyes of many. But the reason for that result, was the lack of playing time, which dated back two years. Such a situation has kept Uganda behind in terms of women’s rugby.

Yet, now, Lubambula feels that there is a good chance to get back on the rise. On Wednesday, the Lady Rugby Cranes dominated Zimbabwe from start to finish, something that was attributed to higher fitness levels. This team had been training together for at least two months.

In addition, in almost all facets of the game, Uganda ensure that Zimbabwe were second best. In the scrums, set pieces and in passing the ball, Uganda dominated. “This showed how much these players understood the strategy and game plan we had been working on in training. Although there is still room for improvement, I can confidently say that we are on the right course to success,” Lubambula said.

The Lady Rugby Cranes will face Zimbabwe again on Sunday 18th July at Kyadondo for their second test game. And Lubambula will hope that the Lekurus, Winnie Atyang, Charlotte Mudoola and Samiya Ayikoru, some of the star players of the team, among others, can produce a better result and performance.

It is a good level of consistency, that can kick-start their run, to try and win the Africa Rugby Cup and the Elgon Cup if they dare to dream, and also get the support needed to realize that dream. But at the moment, Lubambula believes this Lady Rugby Cranes team, which had to debutants, has the right skill set and balance between youth exuberance, and experience.   

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