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The Lady Rugby Cranes started off their Africa Women Cup campaign in high gear, crashing over seven unanswered tries against Zimbabwe Ladies on Wednesday afternoon.
During the lunchtime kickoff at Kyadondo Rugby Grounds, the Lady Sables started on the front-foot before birthday girl Samiya Ayikoru opened the Cranes account. The fullback’s try off a patient Crane’s buildup switched up the game’s tempo as Leonard Lubambula’s charges took control of the game. Emilly Lekuru was next on the scoresheet as she dazzled through the Sables defence for Cranes second try. Lady Cranes went into the interval with a humble ten point lead.
With the afternoon heat probably taking its toll, Cranes started the second half with low momentum for about 15 minutes. Then, Captain Peace Lekuru was finally invited onto the scoresheet as fly half Charlotte Mudoola popped the ball. Charlotte, who was found wanting in both power and direction during earlier kicks made no mistake with the conversion.
Grace Auma was at the end of a brilliantly executed team-play under the scorching Kyadondo sun to touch down Uganda’s fourth. The move exhibited Uganda’s ball handling prowess as almost all the backs were involved in the buildup. A sequence of play initiated by a line out at the Cranes 10m line was highlighted by a Winnie Atyang hand-off that sent an unprepared Sable rolling. Charlotte Mudoola was successful with the extras.
Like their male counterparts last weekend, the Lady Cranes were unmatched during the scrums having a close to perfect winning percentage. This saw them call for scrum-downs even in positions where they could have easily gone for poles. One such a scenario saw an early ball out of the scrum setup Emilly Lekuru for her brace. It was a typical Brian Makalama inspired show by the ladies. Another brilliant sequence of play created an overlap for the Cranes at the wing as coach Leonard’s charges stumped their authority. With the Sable’s trying to cover Emily at the wing, the danger-woman in Peace Lekuru was left with gaps to maximise. Using her brilliant footwork she dashed over the white chalk to put Zimbabwe out the game at 34:00.
Seeing as the backs had run the show on the scoresheets, the forwards took the last play into their hands as their power and patience saw Asha Nakityo score the last game of the try. Mbale Eagles’ Mastula Nambozo was soo composed as she split the uprights for the extras. The rookie probably put in her hand to take over kicking duties in the return fixture on Sunday 18th July.