UGANDA have made a significant move up the World Rugby Rankings after coming from behind to beat hosts Zimbabwe 34-27 in Africa Cup Division 1A in Harare on Sunday.
Saturday’s surprise win over Zimbabwe has resulted in an eight-place rise for Uganda.
The Rugby Cranes are now ranked 42nd in the world, a climb of eight places, after picking up 1.91 rating points for the victory at the Police Grounds in Harare.
Zimbabwe are heading the other way in the rankings though, with a fall of three places taking them to their lowest ever position of 36th. The Czech Republic, Netherlands and Brazil profit from their loss with a one-place gain.
The rankings are officially updated at 12 noon every Monday.
The Sables are stuck at the bottom of the Division 1A table having lost 61-15 to Kenya at the same venue a fortnight earlier and now need to pull off a shock win away to reigning champions Namibia, in Windhoek on August 6, to give themselves any hope of maintaining their place amongst the region’s elite.
For Uganda, a bonus point against Kenya in Nairobi next weekend should be enough to assure them of safety, and having scored five tries in each of their two Africa Cup 1A matches so far – they lost 40-31 to Namibia first time out – that should be well within their reach.
Zimbabwe let a 14-3 first-half lead slip as they lost to the Cranes on home soil for the first time in history.
Converted tries from fullback Tangai Nemadire and right wing Lungile Tshuma, in response to an earlier penalty by Ugandan fullback Watum Syrus, saw the home side off to a flying start.
However, a lapse in concentration just before the break resulted in two quick-fire tries by prop Robert Masendi and centre Okarach Michael, leaving the Sables one point adrift at the break.
The lead changed hands again at the start of the second half when Lenience Tambwera kicked two penalties to put Zimbabwe 20-15 up. But with their set-piece struggling, the Sables were never able to press home their advantage and Uganda hit back with tries for Masendi and Syrus.
When Tambwera brilliantly converted Stephen Hunduza’s try Zimbabwe were back on level terms, however Thomas Kalyango went over late on as Uganda celebrated their first away win against any nation for just over three years. –ANA