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World 7s Series Qualifiers: Uganda beat Chile in opener

By Joseph Kizza

Added 6th April 2018 08:23 AM

Phillip Wokorach and Solomon Okia each a try and a conversion as Uganda open their qualification quest with a win over Chile.

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Phillip Wokorach and Solomon Okia each a try and a conversion as Uganda open their qualification quest with a win over Chile.

2018 HSBC WORLD SEVENS SERIES QUALIFIERS

Friday result
Uganda 14  Chile  10

Upcoming fixtures
Uganda v Georgia (Friday)
Japan v Uganda (Saturday)

Uganda's Rugby Sevens team kicked off their quest for a place in the 2018 World Sevens Series with victory over Chile in Hong Kong.

The Friday morning (Ugandan time) Pool E tie saw Uganda edge the South American side 14-10 in Pool E's first game.

A crowd inside the vast Hong Kong Stadium bore witness as the Rugby Cranes stamped their authority over Chile to prevent them scoring a try in the dying seconds.

The final whistle was met with mixed reactions: one camp celebrated a bright start, as the other were left ruing their missed last-grasp opportunity.

 
Lanky Phillip Wokorach scored Uganda's first try and was on point with the resulting conversion to put his side in front after trailing early on.

Solomon Okia was also on the scoresheet, thanks to his try and conversion that wrapped up the Rugby Cranes's victory.

Eventually, Chile would for be good for second-best.

In the other Pool E game, Japan saw off Georgia 26-10 to also give themselves a fair chance of qualifying.

The top two teams in each of the four qualifying groups will progress to the quarter-finals, due to be played on Saturday. 

From there, the winners of the quarter-finals will then play the semi-finals Sunday morning, with the final game to decide which team will join the main series due later that morning.

For now, Uganda will be in action again later on Friday against Georgia, before facing Japan Saturday morning to wrap up the group stages.

Japan will meet Chile on Friday after Uganda's game.

 

 

 
Analysis by New Vision's Kalungi Kabuye in Hong Kong

On paper, Uganda seems to have an easy game, and should be favourites to top their group, which includes Chile, Georgia and Japan. Japan looks to be the toughest contender, having played in the core series in 2016, but lost to invitees Uganda in both Dubai and Cape Town. But they come back knowing what to expect from the Rugby Cranes.

According to the team’s coach Tolbert Onyango, his charges are as ready as they will ever be. “The boys are pumped and ready to play,” Onyango said after the Ugandans had a training session.

“It’s not going to be easy of course, because every team wants to qualify. So each game will be like we are playing a final, but they are focused and know what is at stake. We were here last year, so it will not be the first time and everyone knows what is at stake. But the players will give their best.” 

 




 

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