Event: Nile Special 7s season finale
Dates: 15th and 16th October 2022
Venue: Kyadondo Rugby Club
Jinja Hippos need to at least finish third in the season finale of the Nile Special 7s to hoist the overall title when action winds down this weekend. A stumble for second placed Heathens anywhere after the group stage could even make things easier for the Jinja based outfit.
The final (seventh) circuit of the Nile Special 7s will be played on 15th and 16th October 2022 at Kyadondo Rugby Club in Kampala.
Ahead of the final circuit of Nile Special 7s, Hippos lead the 10-team table with 109 points, seven ahead of second placed Heathens. Third placed Kobs have 93 points.
Last time out, playing on home soil, Jinja Hippos who were crowd favorites beat title holders Kobs 07-00 in the final of the circuit dubbed Kyabazinga 7s.
Dennis Etwau scored the only try of the game at the stroke of half time; he was the hero of the hometown crowd; everybody was cheering loud just after he dashed past Kobs’ pair of Kevin Arinaitwe and Pius Ogena to touchdown near the sticks.
Hippos Coach Saidi Atibu says that everyone at Jinja Hippos has eyes on the 2022 Nile Special 7s title and the boys will put their bodies on the line to ensure that they win their maiden championship.
“We had our final training on Thursday. The team travels to Kampala on Friday and will be sleeping near Kyadondo,” Atibu said adding that ever since the sixth circuit held over two weeks ago, the side has been training hard to ensure that they dominate their rivals this weekend.
Hippos are no strangers to podium finishes and have been in four finals in six outings, winning just one but at Kyadondo, Hippos will need to take any position on the podium but according to Atibu, they want to win both the finale circuit and the series.
“We don’t want those calculations of relying on other teams to perform poorly in order for us to win, we just want to come for the main cup,” Atibu added.
Atibu adds that there’s a bit of pressure on the team but they’re also confident that they’ll be able to put up a good fight at Kyadondo and end six-year Kobs-Pirates duopoly.
“The win at Jinja has energized us and has made the players to keep doing what they’re doing. We now have big ambitions of winning the title,” Atibu noted.
Hippos are in Pool A alongside lower league side Jaguars, relegation threatened Warriors and recently promoted Rhinos. This is a complicated group according to Atibu but his side will seek for victory every time they step on the pitch.
Hosts Toyota Buffaloes are in Pool B alongside title holders Kobs, Walukuba Barbarians and a Tanzanian select side.
Pool C has Heathens and Makerere based sides Impis, Rams and Rams 2.
In Pool D, there is Plascon Mongers, Stanbic Black Pirates and lower league sides Sailors and Boks.
Meanwhile, after Rhinos attaining core status last weekend in the playoffs, one team will be relegated from the national series.
There’s a huge line up of artists and entertainers scheduled to fire up the fans after the series at the fans park.