BATTLE OF TITANS

Simbas' skipper Sikuta says Uganda duel will be final before final

The former Mwamba player said the team is in high spirits and relishing the challenge of facing the noisy neighbours

In Summary

•Since the start of the Elgon Cup in 2004, Kenya has won 11 times with Uganda winning twice in 2006 and 2012.

•The final is slated for July 10 with the winners advancing to the Rugby World Cup in France in Pool A, where they face three-time champions, New Zealand, hosts France and Italy.

Kenya simbas Isaac Njoroge against Uganda in the Elgon Cup
File Kenya simbas Isaac Njoroge against Uganda in the Elgon Cup

Kenya Simbas' skipper Dan Sikuta has termed the Rugby World Cup qualifier against Uganda this Saturday as a final before a final.

Speaking from France after the team arrived on Wednesday, Kabras RFC flanker said they will take one game at a time in their quest to qualify for the maiden Rugby World appearance.

“It's a tough derby game against our neighbours. They are physical and we will want to win,” said Sikuta. 

The former Mwamba player said the team is in high spirits and relishes the challenge of facing noisy neighbours. 

“We have had good preparation by playing in the Currie Cup against South African teams that have hardened us and taught us new things about the game. All the same, it is all systems go and we hope to do the country pride,” added Sikuta. 

He said it is summer Aix -en Province in the South of France but they hope to adapt to the conditions.

"It's quite hot. It's summer but we have two days to acclimatize to the conditions and we will adapt accordingly," added Sikuta. 

Kenya and Uganda last met in 2019 in the Elgon Cup with the visitors winning the first leg 16-13 in Kisumu before Paul Odera's charges bounced back to win the second leg 16-5 in Kampala to seal a 29-21 aggregate win.

Since the start of the Elgon Cup in 2004, Kenya have won 11 times with Uganda winning twice in 2006 and 2012.

Head coach Paul Odera said past encounters will count for nothing in the 'winner take all clash' which kickoffs at 4 pm East African Time.

"Uganda is a dangerous side and, therefore, the past history will not matter whoever win advances to the semifinals and whoever loses is out of the World Cup," said Odera. 

The winner of the clash will face either Senegal or Algeria in the last four while on the other side,  powerhouses Namibia take on Burkina Faso with the winner facing either Zimbabwe or Ivory Coast in the semis next week.

The final is slated for July 10 with the winners advancing to the Rugby World Cup in France in Pool A where they face three-time champions, New Zealand, hosts France, and Italy.