A Rugby Afrique
Africa Gold Cup action resumes
By Patrick Korir | Mon 30 Jul, 2018 12:36

After close to a month's recess necessitated by the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco, USA, action in the Africa Gold Cup that also acts as the 2019 World Cup qualifier is set to resume on Saturday 4 August with two games on the cards.

Uganda and Zimbabwe who have not had the best of starts into this year’s campaign will host Tunisia and leaders Namibia, respectively, as the second part of the qualifiers kick off on Saturday 4 August.

As nations fine tune for the resumption of the qualifiers, Namibia is at the front row of the current campaign with 15 points, Kenya is second with 12 points, Tunisia are third with four points while Morocco and Zimbabwe have three points each at fourth and fifth place as Uganda closes the competition with no point so far.

Uganda started out with a 55-6 loss to Namibia on 16 June and went on to fall 38-22 away to Kenya on 7 July in a game that also acted as an Elgon Cup reverse tie.

Those were their only two games on the road and the Cranes will expect better tidings when they start a marathon of hosting three straight games starting with the Tunisia one on 4 August then Morocco and Zimbabwe on 11 and 18 August.

Zimbabwe too has had a poor start and Namibia's visit will hand them an indicator if they have a fighting chance.

After an uncharacteristic 23-23 home draw with Morocco on 16 June, the Sables dropped two straight away games; 45-36 against Kenya on 30 June and 18-14 loss to host Tunisia the weekend after.

They host a Namibia side that is looking for real opposition in this campaign as thus far they are unstoppable.

After the Uganda win they went on to blitzkrieg Tunisia 118-0 on 23 June and the weekend after swept aside host Morocco 63-7.

On Saturday 11 August, during the penultimate weekend of the qualifiers, Kenya will return to action with a home game against Tunisia as Uganda face off with Morocco in the only two games lined up.

That will set the tone for the Grand finale where Uganda and Tunisia will host Zimbabwe and Morocco, correspondingly, as Namibia takes on Kenya in Windhoek in what many believe will be the title decider.

From the final day the winner will not only be crowned African champions but will also book the automatic ticket to the World Cup to be hosted by Japan in 2019.

The second placed team will head to France for a four-team repechage from where the winning side will also head to the world Cup. Already Hong Kong, Canada and Germany lay in wait for the African incomer.

Rugby Africa Gold Cup Fixtures & results

16 June 2018

Zimbabwe 23 Morocco 23

Namibia 55 Uganda 6

23 June 2018

Namibia 118 Tunisia 0

Morocco 24 Kenya 28

30 June 2018

Kenya 45 Zimbabwe 36

Morocco 7 Namibia 63

7 July 2018

Kenya 38 Uganda 22

Tunisia 18 Zimbabwe 14

Africa Gold Cup Standings as of July 7

1.Namibia 15 
2.Kenya 12
3.Tunisia 4
4.Morocco 3 
5.Zimbabwe 3
6.Uganda 0

Pending games

4 August 2018

Uganda v Tunisia

Zimbabwe v Namibia

11 August 2018

Uganda v Morocco

Kenya v Tunisia

18 August 2018

Uganda v Zimbabwe

Namibia v Kenya

Tunisia v Morocco

Patrick Korir
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