Top seeds Uganda have their eyes on RWC 7's

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Oct 05, 2017
  • Uganda were invited for two tournaments of the World Rugby Sevens World Series and coach Tolbert Onyango says the experience will come hands at the qualifiers. (Photo Courtesy)

Tolbert Onyango, the Uganda Rugby 7's coach has set the goal which is qualifying for next year's Rugby World Cup 7's to be hosted by the USA in San Francisco.

The top seeds have been drawn in Pool A with Tunisia, Morocco, Zambia and Ghana but the former Kenya scrum-half says there is no easy match. "Our preparations have been good. The structures is slowly taking shape but we still have a lot to fix before the first match on Saturday," the coach explained.

But, Uganda's eyes are firmly set on reaching the final and winning a ticket to the RWC 7's. "We are hungry for the World Cup spot and will be putting our bodies on the line for that this weekend," he stated.

The motivation for all the teams is what competing on a bigger stage will offer. "All the teams are taking this tournament seriously because a top two finish will change the lives of these teams. At this time, all teams are a threat," Onyango stated.

Admittedly, Onyango is feeling the pressure from the fanatical support the team is expected to get from their fans. "We have never been in this position before so it's good pressure," the coach admitted.

Oktoberfest 7's benefits

Uganda has just returned from Germany where the team played five matches in the Oktoberfest Sevens. Although the shine was dusted by the 'disappearance' of three players, Onyango admits the tournament was a good build up at high intensity and the benefits could be realized this weekend.

The absence of the three players has been accepted. "We have 12 players so we have no issues. I would like to concentrate on qualifying for the World Cup and not talk about what will not help us now. We are on positive vibes now," Onyango explained.

Some of the natural leaders for Uganda are Michael Wokorach, Eric Kasiita and Philip Wokorach who played in the two invitational World Rugby Sevens World Series in Dubai and Cape Town. 

The bulk of these players are still in the team which is good for continuity.

Wednesday was a busy day with the arrival of Tunisia at Entebbe at 2 a.m. The next to arrive were Senegal before three more teams among them Madagascar and Morocco arrived. Mauritius was expected on Thursday.  

Africa Cup Sevens Cup Draw 

Pool A: Uganda, Tunisia, Morocco, Zambia, Ghana.

Pool B: Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Botswana, Mauritius. 

Day one order of play 

Ghana v Tunisia (9.30), Zambia v Morocco (9.52), Mauritius v Zimbabwe (10.14), Botswana v Senegal (10.36), Uganda v Ghana (10.58), Tunisia v Zambia (11.20), Madagascar v Mauritius (12.04), Zimbabwe v Botswana (12.26), Zambia v Uganda (12.48), Morocco v Tunisia (1.30), Botswana v Madagascar (1.54), Senegal v Zimbabwe (2.16), Uganda v Morocco (3 p.m.), Zambia v Ghana (3.22), Madagascar v Senegal (3.44), Botswana v Mauritius (4.06), Tunisia v Uganda (4.28), Morocco v Ghana (4.50), Zimbabwe v Madagascar (5.12), Senegal v Mauritius (5.34).

Day two order of play

Cup quarter finals 

Match 21: 1 v 8 (11 a.m.),

Match 22: 2 v 7 (11.22),

Match 23: 3 v 6 (11.44),

Match 24: 4 v 5 (12.06),

Match 25 - Ranking 9/10: 9 v 10 (12.28);

Match 26 5-8 semi finals: Loser M21 v Loser M22 (1.20),

Match 27: Loser M23 v Loser M24 (1.42);

Cup semi finals

Match 28: Winner M21 v Winner M22 (2.04),

Match 29: Winner M23 v Winner M24 (2.26);

Match 30, Ranking 9/10 second match: 9 v 10 (2.48);

Match 31 7/8th playoff: Loser M26 v Loser M 27 (3.48);

Match 32, Ranking 5/6th playoff: Winner Match 26 v Winner M27 (4.10);

Match 33, Ranking 3/4th playoff: Loser Match 28 v Loser Match 29 (4.32);

Match 34, Cup final: Winner M28 v Winner M29 (4.54).