By Johnson Were
Coming on the heels of what has been regarded as a poor performance by the Uganda Select side against Kenyan club Kabras recently, the rugby fraternity is looking for ways to avert a crisis on its door step. The poor performance (a draw and a loss) was reportedly due to the bad feeding of the Uganda select side.
Now the rugby chief fan, Edward Kiwanuka, has found a solution to the bad feeding. Kiwanuka has urged rugby fans to support the national team by offering the players chicken and pork at Kyadondo Rugby Club and Legends Club.
“What we have to do as fans now is forget the Government and start fundraising for our team’s welfare if we are to get glory,” Kiwanuka, aka Omulondo, said.
“Whenever we go to watch their training, we should also buy for them pork and chicken. We should not just eat all of it. That is one way if inspiring the team to perform better,” Kiwanuka said.
Kiwanuka recently travelled with the team to Kenya and denies the allegations that players were served bad food. “It is not true that players were given bad food with bean weevils. I visited the players and even shared chicken and beef,” Kiwanuka said.
According to his assessment, if each player had a Kiwanuka taking care of him, there would be enough food for the team and the boys would easily shrug off hand-offs, tackles and win scrums.
The Rugby Cranes start their international fixtures against Kenya in the first leg of the Elgon Cup on June10, before the return leg on June 24 in Nairobi.
However, the coach, Robert Sseguya, is less concerned about food and is only looking forward to good results. The no-nonsense tactician told The Kampala Sun that he is impressed with the team’s performance despite the 16-5 defeat and 15-15 draw games with Kenya Club Kabras and is focused on improving on the team’s game structures.
When asked about the team’s poor welfare during the camp in Kakamega, Sseguya said: “This is not the time for the boys to get negative information in their heads. We should blame the Government for only thinking about football.”
A furious Sseguya explained that the Rugby Cranes has won the Elgon Cup, which is the equivalent of CECAFA in football, and the Africa Cup in 2007, which is equivalent of the Africa Cup of Nation, but the Government did nothing.
“People should contribute for the team welfare or back off the team and leave it to fight for the country’s glory in pain,” Sseguya added.
“I cannot blame the union unless someone assures me that government has given it sh100m the way they give it to the football team every time,” Sseguya stressed.
“Whatever happened in Kabras, the union is working hard to fix it! No one is perfect, but the union is working hard to fix all the issues that happened and the future will be bright,” Sseguya added.
Team manager speaks
Emma Baine, the Rugby Cranes team manager, is not blaming anyone in particular. He, however, agrees that the food was “not that good”.
“We just decided to go to camp with Kabras instead of camping, say in Gulu or Soroti and keep playing Barbarians. About the food, we all know that Kenyan food is not that good, unless you are staying in five star hotels,” Baine added.
After the Kabras camp, Sseguya dropped 20 players, retaining 40 players. 10 more players will be dropped after next weekend’s trial game. Only 30 players will represent Uganda in all the international fixtures.
However, the players who were dropped have been advised to continue training and maintain their fitness in case of a late call when players get injured.
The players who were dropped include David Agassi, Robert Masendi, Kenneth Okongo, Daudi Ssemwami, Alema Ruhweza, Ivan Wavamunno, Haruna Muhammed, Simon Olet, Kevin Keremundu, Simon Makumbi and Anthony Musimenta.