If there ever has been spine-tingling anticipation for a duel, count on this one.
Come Saturday, Rugby Cranes face Kenya Simbas at RFUEA grounds in Nairobi.
The anticipation couldn’t be juicier; whereas Kenya is fresh from a Namibia thumping Uganda is off the back of a triumphant win in Harare.
Zimbabwe Sables fell 34-27 to the Cranes last Saturday, whereas Kenya had humiliated them 61-15 them two weeks back.
The Cranes are buoyant; having been written off my pessimists and good-for-nothing naysayers as the underdogs of the group, the boys put on a heart-stopping performance against African champions Namibia in Kampala, and even threw away a game they
could have won, then went on to thump Zimbabwe away.
The Rugby Cranes have never been so fired up! They intend to avenge the humiliating loss to Kenya in the first leg of the Elgon Cup.
As it stands, the Elgon Cup could be out of our reach now, owing to that 48-10 loss at Legends sports club. But in the Tier 1A tie, there is everything to die for. And that’s the mission the Cranes are out to accomplish.
That captain Brian Odong, a prop, was named man of the match in Zimbabwe, was a huge statement. The captain has assumed reigns of his ship, and he will see it to the dock!
On the other hand our noisy neighbours are understandably astonished at the resurgent Cranes. They lost miserably to Namibia which, by their own admission, were profoundly shocked by the Cranes in Kampala.
Apparently they did not know we could play rugby like that. On the evening, experience saved their day, but they picked a lesson, regrouped, and schooled a hardworking Kenya.
In the aftermath of the Kenya win in Harare, the Simbas moved two places in world rankings to 24. Then came the Namibia blow!
In contrast, Uganda’s win over Zimbabwe boosted their rankings, eight places, to 42.
On that background the upcoming duel makes for a real match-up: it will be pound for pound.
The Simbas are seething from that loss and will be out to replicate what they did in Kampala, but that team has since morphed into a lethal force.