- Black Pearls 12-10 Entebbe Lady Swans
- Mbale Eagles 00-78 Thunderbirds
After a season off, the national ladies 15s rugby league kicked off on Saturday, May 4 with two matches.
Black Pearls hosted Entebbe Lady Swans at King’s Park in Bweyogerere while “forever champions” Thunderbirds were away in Mbale against Eagles.
Black Pearls held on to edge Lady Swans 12-10 under the hot sun. A try in each half from Brenda Aboth and Emily Lekuru coupled Racheal Mufua’s conversion rendered Christine Akello and Juliet Nandawula’s second-half tries consolation.
The season opener was jittery with the majority of players on either side struggling with the basic skills of the game. However, the Black Pearls were a little more impressive with their passing and tackling given they are no match for Swans in terms of size.
It was passing that got Pearls the first points on the board. After several recycles, Aboth got open at the wing to touch down at the corner and the hosts went into the break leading 05-00.
In the second half, the Swans camped in Black Pearls half but could not get over the line thanks to good tackling from their hosts and partly, their slippery hands.
The first time the Black Pearls crossed the halfway line in the second half, it was a try to extend their lead. From her own half, national sevens star Emily Lekuru beat Swans defence line for pace to touch down between the posts. Mufua had the easiest of conversions to extend Black Pearls lead to 12-00.
Upon restart, Swans were back in the opponents half and their pressure paid off with Christine Akello scoring.
With both teams seemingly out of legs, another sevens star Juliet Nandawula broke at the wing to touch down to create a tense finish to the game.
Meanwhile, defending champions Thunderbirds left Mbale Eagles for dead in their own backyard running away with a 78-00 win.
The Thunderbirds ran in 14 tries, converting four without a response from their hosts.
Samiya Ayikoru (3), Norah Nabasirye (2), Asha Nakito (2) and Agnes Nakuya (2), Christine Nakayiza, Teddy Iwutung, Diana Kwagala, Yvonne Najjuma and Mary Kyoita all crossed the try line.