Uganda national rugby sevens team, Rugby Cranes Sevens have finished seventh in the first tournament weekend of the Emirates Invitational 7s that came to a close on Saturday in Dubai.
Uganda is the lowest ranked side out of the eight men’s teams at the invitational meet played at The Sevens Stadium but managed to finish above Spain after beating them 19-24 in a 7/8th placement game.
Out of the six games they played between Friday and Saturday, Uganda picked only one win, that is a 19-24 triumph against Spain in their final (placement) game of the first phase of the campaign on Saturday.
Uganda’s tries were scored by Solomon Okia (2), Nobert Okeny and Adrian Kasito, who also managed one conversion with Aaron Ofoywroth utilizing the other extra.
“The game was tough like the five previous games that we played. The lads put in a good shift and got a good result in the end. Our objective is to get to test our structures in a high intensity environment and this is perfect for us. Looking forward to the next hit out in a few days,” Uganda’s Coach Tolbert Onyango said.
“We are learning which areas to work on to ensure we are competitive come June. No better way to learn than to play top 7s teams in the world,” Onyango added.
On Friday, Uganda had a false outing losing all it’s games (38-14 to Argentina, 40-05 to Canada and 19-12 to Japan).
On day two, what started on wrong footing ended well with Uganda making up for two earlier losses with a 19-24 win over Spain. Earlier in the day, Uganda had lost 38-07 to Canada and as well registering a 45-07 loss against France.
The event (Invitational 7s) that marks a return of competitive rugby to Dubai is a competitive training camp including two tournament weekends for some of the best rugby sevens teams in the world. The tournament dates are; April 2nd/3rd (successfully held) and April 8th/9th.
However, Canada are the women’s winners of the first event of the tournament after victory over USA in the main cup finals. Argentina beat France to win the men’s event.
As they prepare for Olympics, the teams will train and play all rugby at The Sevens Stadium behind closed doors, with spectators not allowed in attendance.
The participating teams are;
International Men’s Teams:
Japan, Canada, Kenya, Uganda, Spain, France, Argentina and Chile
International Women’s Teams:
USA, Canada, Kenya, France, Brazil and Japan
Uganda’s Squad For Dubai Invitational 7s:
1. Ian Munyani
2. Levis Ocen
3. Desire Ayera
4. Solomon Okia
5. Isaac Massanganzira
6. Michael Okorach
7. Nobert Okeny
8. Adrian Kasito
9. Aaron Ofoywroth
10. Joseph Aredo
11. Pius Ogena
12. Philip Wokorach
Head Coach – Tolbert Onyango
Physio – Samuel Asiimwe
Team Manager – Michael Wandera.