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'A league of two games did not make sense'

By Faith Kiai

Added 1st April 2020 12:29 AM

The union tried to organize a festival aside event in which the best players from each region formed teams to compete for selection to the national team.

'A league of two games did not make sense'

The union tried to organize a festival aside event in which the best players from each region formed teams to compete for selection to the national team.

WOMEN'S RUGBY

KAMPALA - The Women's Rugby League could use a revision after the 2020 version missed the mark by a country mile.

 A new regional format of competition was rolled out at the start of this season but it failed to bolster the game as teams had played very few matches to make a proper assessment.

The union tried to organize a festival aside event in which the best players from each region formed teams to compete for selection to the national team, which was done on March 15 at Kyadondo.

"For us, the 15s  matches were geared towards selecting the national team for the Elgon Cup and Gold Cup, but time was not favourable. Basically we couldn't push the local league," said Beatrice Atim, Uganda Rugby Union women's development officer.

The festival event was meant to conclude what was a very successful regional competition but it instead helped to show how unfit players were following the short-lived regional season. It was specifically put in place to help select national team players but with the poor fitness, it left a lot to be desired.

"The idea was good but it was poorly executed," said Black Pearls coach Helen Buteme.

"A league of two games didn't make sense. Some players played only one or zero games due to work, studies and injuries, so players had very limited game time."

The regional leagues were divided into east, north and central. Central was won by the Thunderbirds while the northern by the Kitgum Queens. The eastern region tournament could not take off because it had only one team, the Mbale Eagles.

Atim has admitted a lot has to improve for the competition to gain traction and the re-introduction of the under-19 girls rugby may improve the level of competition.

"We need to devise more means, hence the festival aside, it is one of the ways we want to engage under-19 teams to help bridge the player recruitment gap," she said.

For now, the union will organize trial games as they prepare the team for the next phase as long as the government lifts the quarantine restrictions.


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