Uganda Sevens finished third at the Africa Men’s 7s held over the weekend at Harare Sports Club in Zimbabwe. The result meant that they failed to secure a slot in the 2024 Summer Olympics through the weekend meet.
Kenya who won the Harare event automatically qualified for the Olympics while South Africa (runners up) and Uganda may/will get one final opportunity next year in June as 12 teams will fight it out for one spot in the Repechage tournament for the Olympics, which will be held in Monaco.
After winning two out of three games from their group, Uganda made it to the quarter finals where they faced Zambia. They won the tie 29-15 thanks to tries from Pius Ogena, Ian Munyani, Adrian Kasito and Norbert Okeny (2). Philip Wokorach made two conversions.
In the semifinals, Uganda Sevens fell prey to South Africa who found themselves in this tournament after they finished outside of the top four at the end of the 2023 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series earlier in the year.
Uganda failed to hold onto a 14-all halftime score as Blitzboks managed a 26-14 victory to storm the final. With scores tied, a quick brace by Rosko Specman at the left-hand flank sealed the win for South Africa.
In the 3rd/4th position (bronze medal) match, Uganda Sevens came from behind to post a 24-12 victory Aaron Ofoyrwoth, Isaac Massanganzira, and Philip Wokorach (2) scored the tries. Skipper Ian Munyani converted Wokorach’s try.
Uganda also earned a ticket to the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series also scheduled for next year.
Meanwhile, in the final, South Africa who were tipped to emerge champions ran out of steam against Kenya as they lost 12-17.
Kenya scored first in the final, following some sloppy defence by the Blitzboks, but Selvyn Davids struck back from the restart to dot down in the corner.
Christie Grobbelaar then scored following a long-range run, with Ricardo Duarttee’s conversion handing the Blitzboks a 12-7 lead.
The second half was tense, but two tries in the final two minutes not only handed the Kenyans the lead, but also the win and a plane ticket to Paris.