Russia 25, Ukraine 11 in Odessa (WCQ Europe Round 4 Playoff) HT 7-3

Russia won by 14 points. I predicted Russia by 25.


Russia was clearly superior v Ukraine last season. Although played on home soil the Ukraine will struggle. The also have the knowledge that they have been relegated out of the first division of European rugby.

For the matches against Ukraine, Russia will be fielding a weakened side. Missing are leading players Voitov, Sergeev, Panasenko, Grachev, Rachkov, and Novikov.



Tunisia 31, Kenya 12 in Tunis (WCQ Africa Rnd 2, Grp B; Africa Cup Grp B)

Tunisia won by 19 points. I predicted Tunisia by 8.


Kenya has made excellent progress since the 12-84 disastrous loss to Namibia away earlier in the season. Although not successful against neighbour Uganda in friendlies, Kenya has won both home fixtures, 25-21 against Tunisia and, amazingly, against Namibia two weeks ago. Playing away is a big disadvantage.


Tunisia will probably be able to assemble a good number of France-based players because of the home fixture and will be very strong. Apart from the earlier loss to Kenya, the Tunisians easily defeated Namibia 24-7 at home.


GWC Rugby Rankings: Africa Table-Tunisia 8th, Kenya 9th




Kenya squad

Joel Ng’ang’a (Kenya Harlequin), Frank Ndong (Impala), Daniel Kiptoo (Kenya Harlequin), Michael Aung (Nondies), Richard Nyakwaka (Mwamba), Moses Mukabane (Mean Machine), Tony Shihemi (Nondies), Victor Oduor (Mwamba), Peter Mutai (Kenya Commercial Bank), Lavin Asego (Mwamba), Collins Injera (Mwamba), Paul Sadat (Impala), Innocent Simiyu (Exeter Chiefs RFC, England), Dan Weku (Impala), Ted Omondi (Racing Club de Paris, France), Mark Emitati (KCB), Richmond Baraza (Mwamba), Wilson K’Opondo (Mean Machine), Paul Oimbo (Impala), Moses Kola (Impala), Sidney Ashioya (Kenya Harlequin) and Nato Simiyu (Impala).

Officials: Manuel Okoth (coach), Charles Ngovi (assistant coach), Wangila Simiyu (team manager) and Christopher





Ivory Coast 18, Uganda 7 in Abidjan (WCQ Africa Rnd 2, Grp B; Afr. Cup Grp B)

Ivory Coast won by 11 points. I predicted Ivory Coast by 3.


Under the guidance of former Springbok Chester Williams Uganda has moved from strength to strength this season. The ‘Cranes’ surprised all by defeating the much-vaunted Ivory Coast team at home 32-7 in their first ever match together. Uganda then upset Kenya 22-20 in a friendly in August but then lost 3-5 against Morocco last weekend in a game they could have won.


The Ivory Coast has not played since the loss to Uganda. Prior to that they secured a very creditable draw 9-9 against Morocco at home. It will depend on how many experienced Ivorian France-based club players are able to travel to Abidjan for this match.


Uganda will be without leading player Seguya. Coach Chester Williams, on holiday, will meet up with the team in Abidjan.




Uganda Squad

F. Mudoola, A. Mubiru, B. Makalama, V. Wadia, A. Bukenya, M. Ochwo, M. Soita, A. Kinene, E. Tumusiime, B. Tabaruka, T. Lugya, J. Musoke, A. Musoke, S. Wakabi, R. Adigasi, K. Mutabaruka, V. Otim, T. Mudoola, I. Lutwama, A. Kinene.

Y. Kasasa (coach)


GWC Rugby Rankings: Uganda 6th, Ivory Coast 7th





Nigeria v Niger in Niamey (CAR Castel Cup, Div. 2 North Final, 1st leg)


The first of the African Division 2 semi-finals is the Northern playoff. This is the first leg. The second leg will be played in Nigeria on 6 or 7 October. The other semi-final is between the two southern area winners Tanzania and Reunion. The dates we have for those legs are 7 October and possibly later in October.


Niger and Nigeria have never met before. The teams in common they have played are..

Benin-Niger D 3-3 in 2005

         -Nigeria W 51-0 in 2003, W 43-3 in 2004, W 33-3 in 2006

           Nigeria clearly ahead

Mali-Niger W 15-0 in 2006

        Nigeria L 18-25 in 2003, L 5-11 in 2004

        Niger ahead here


GWC Rugby Rankings: Africa Table-Niger 20th, Nigeria 23rd


Prediction: Without the teams lists its difficult to gauge. The strength of the Mali team of 2006 could well be weaker than the teams Nigeria had previously played. On the world scene Nigeria is by far more experienced. Niger is only in its second year of international rugby. Niger has the home advantage, a huge factor in African rugby.

Nigeria by 3 points