By Johnson Were in Machakos
Masaku International 7s
Main Cup Final
Uganda Select 14 Tabadamu Fiji 39
KCB 29 Kenya U-19 0
Kisumu 0 Jombi 17
Oslo Norway 14 Kilunda 15
Best Upcoming Player
THE national Sevens Rugby team is sh8.9m despite losing the Masaku International 7s title to Fiji side Tabadamu in the final played on Sunday in Jomo Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos, Kenya.
The Rugby Cranes 7s team that comprised of young upcoming stars impressed coach Yayiro Kasasa who travelled with team after head coach Tolbert Onyango could not make it due to work commitments.
However the team still needs that explosiveness and self-belief that coach Benjamin Ayimba observed after losing 19-7 to Kenya U-19s in the group stages.
Ayimba added that Uganda needs to play more games for exposure and that is when the players will adapt to sevens rugby quickly.
Philip Wokorach receives the award for Best Upcoming Player. Photos by Johnson Were
“You can’t play one tournament a year if you are to perform in sevens rugby, but have several tournaments where your boys can play as a team”, Ayimba stated.
The same was observed by Kasasa after Uganda’s defeat in the final to Fiji’s Tabadamu.
The 7s team was using the tournament as trials ahead of the Commonwealth Games where the rugby games will be played on July 26-27 at the Ibrox Stadium.
“Yes we didn’t achieve our target of winning the tournament but finishing second is impressive. There is a challenge of instilling self-belief in the boys,” Kasasa stated.
“We had four good chances and if the boys had that self-belief we would now be celebrating victory,” Kasasa added.
Uganda trailing 32-0 in second half regrouped and managed a try by Emma Ecudu followed by another try and two conversions by Philip Wokorach to close the gap but the Fijians were more experienced and stronger adding a try and conversion to seal the 39-14 victory.
Uganda was represented by Rugby Cranes 7s team and Pirates Rugby Club in the tournament that also attracted teams from Fiji and Norway.