The 2023 Victoria Cup reaches its climax with a showdown that every East African rugby enthusiast could only dream of. The hosts, Uganda Rugby Cranes, will square off against their eternal rivals Kenya Simbas in the championship decider at the King’s Park Arena in Bweyogerere, Kampala on Sunday, November 5, 2023, at 4:00 PM.
Kenya, the inaugural champions in 2010, currently lead the standings with 5 points. They opened their campaign with a 36-12 victory over Zambia at the Kyadondo Rugby Club on November 1. With a +24 points difference, they are determined to avoid defeat against Uganda to end a 13-year title drought.
Uganda also secured a bonus point win over Zambia, defeating them 30-8 in the tournament’s opening match last weekend. This victory earned them 5 points with a +22 points difference. They eagerly anticipate facing their fierce rivals in this match, which also marks the start of the Elgon Cup. They will rely on the leadership and experience of Ivan Magomu and Micheal Okorach, as well as the enthusiastic crowd in Bweyogerere, to clinch a victory.
Kenya’s Simbas have the influential fullback Jone Kubu and captain George Nyambua to lead their charge in Kampala in what promises to be an electrifying contest. Fly half Brian Wahinya is also expected to play a pivotal role for the team.
Speaking before Sunday’s clash, Simbas Assistant Coach Curtis Aluoch stated, “Our matches against Uganda have always been intense derbies, and the fans can’t afford to miss this one. We’ve analyzed our performance against Zambia, and we’re motivated for the upcoming battle against our brothers.”
Nyambua expressed his satisfaction with the opening win over Zambia but believes the team can perform even better against Uganda, stating, “I’m delighted with our victory against Zambia, but as we head into the Uganda fixture, we need to be sharper and raise our game against our opponents.”
Rugby Cranes were in the house as Kenya took on Zambia mid-week. Cranes skipper Ivan Magomu believes that his side is very ready for the task at hand.
“It’s a special game for both sides because it’s a derby. It’s a personal game and we will be putting our bodies on the line to make sure the bragging rights stay in Uganda,” Magomu said.
The return leg of this fixture (Elgon Cup) will be held on 11th November in Kisumu, Kenya with the overall winner after two legs set to hoist the winner’s trophy.