By Johnson Were in Machakos
Masaku 7s results
Uganda Select 33 Mwamba 12
Pirates 0 Kenya U-19 40
Harlequins 17 Oslo Norway 7
World Cup qualifiers in Madagascar
Kenya 29 Namibia 22
The brilliance of Philip Pariyo, Philip Wokorach and James Ijongati helped Uganda Select to a 33-12 victory over Kenya’s Mwamba in their opening fixture of Masaku 7s tournament in Kenya on Saturday.
Pariyo scored a hattrick of ties, Wokorach a try and conversion while Ijongati made three conversions.
The Ugandan side conceded an early try to trail 5-0, but later regrouped and took a half time lead of 12-5 on a hot day at Jomo Kenyatta Stadium.
The win gave Uganda an advantage in qualifying for the knock-out stages due on Sunday. Only a win from the two games against Pirates and Kenya U-19 – who are remaining in their pool – will be enough.
Pirates lost 40-0 to Kenya U-19 in their opening fixture in a game that exposed the clubs’ need to focus on the players’ conditioning and strength.
Action of Pirates v Kenya U-19. PHOTO/Johnson Were
Meanwhile Dimension Data has negotiated for more two slots to be given to Uganda so that Uganda teams use the tournament for the development of Sevens rugby.
“I had to do this because we need Uganda 7s and Uganda U1-19 plus another club to join Pirates so that we use this tournament to develop our sevens rugby in Uganda,” George Mbalu of Dimension Data Uganda told New Vision online.
Benjamin Ayimba, the brainchild of the tournament, confirmed the development.
”Yes George approached me and I had no objection since I have loved to be part of sevens development in Uganda,” he said.
In the Madagascar, Kenya fought from 12-0 down to defeat Namibia 29-22 in an intense World Cup qualifier match for the remaining African slot.
Kenya only needs to defeat Zimbabwe and hosts Madagascar to qualify for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.
The Masaku 7s is sponsored by Dimension Data.
Rugby: Winning start for Uganda in Masaku 7s