African Games 2023: Uganda Rugby Cranes make history, secure gold in Ghana


Uganda Rugby Cranes soared to victory, clinching the gold medal at the 2023 All Africa Games held in Ghana.

With an impeccable record of six wins from six games, the Rugby Cranes left an indelible mark on the tournament, mirroring the success of their female counterparts, the Uganda Lady Cranes.

The journey to gold began with a commanding 14-00 triumph over Zimbabwe, followed by an emphatic 50-00 victory against Tunisia.

However, their unbeaten run faced its first test when Botswana managed to take the lead in a tense encounter, but the resilient Cranes rallied back to secure a 24-14 win.

Undeterred by challenges, the Cranes continued their winning streak, dispatching hosts Ghana with a convincing 22-05 win.

Uganda’s star Philip Wokorach (center) in action during the African Games in Ghana. PHOTO: Uganda Rugby Union

With the gold medal firmly within their grasp, Uganda delivered another commanding performance, defeating Benin 56-00, further solidifying their dominance in the tournament.

The final match against arch-rivals Kenya held symbolic significance for Coach Tolbert Onyango’s squad. Despite a spirited effort from the Kenyan team, the Cranes showcased their mettle, racing into a 21-07 lead.

Although discipline momentarily wavered, allowing Kenya to capitalize and narrow the gap, the Cranes ultimately emerged victorious with a final score of 21-14.

Reflecting on the significance of the victory, Coach Onyango emphasized the importance of competing against formidable opponents like Kenya, highlighting the lessons learned from previous encounters.

The triumph not only secured gold for Uganda but also served as a testament to the team’s resilience, determination, and unwavering commitment to excellence.

As celebrations ensued and medals were adorned, the Uganda Rugby Cranes basked in the glory of their historic achievement, etching their names in the annals of African rugby and inspiring future generations with their remarkable journey to gold.

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