It was a very wet outing at the RFUEA Grounds in Nairobi, Kenya during day one of the 2019 Safari 7s as teams played on a waterlogged surface that followed a heavy downpour.

Uganda Rugby 7s opened the action on the day against a spirited Kenya Morans in a game that ended 24-10 in favour of the home side.

Two unconverted tries from speedster Solomon Okia and Adrian Kasito playing at the wing were not enough to challenge a powerful Morans side.

The next challenge in the Pool A matches was Burundi who nearly pulled off an upset in the match leveling matters 07-07 at half time after Aaron Ofoyrwoth scored under the poles and converted easily just after kick-off.

Adrian Kasito races to the try line during the game against Burundi

However, after the break, another Ofoyrwoth try (not converted) and three tries by Solomon Okia (converted by Ofoyrwoth), Adrian Kasito and Nobert Okeny (both converted by Joseph Aredo) were enough to secure maximum points for the Cranes.

The final pool game for Uganda was against seasoned 7s side South Africa’s Blitzbokke. An inspired Uganda Cranes were able to take the lead early in the game courtesy of Aredo Joseph’s line break but the conversion was missed by Aaron Ofoyrwoth.

Joseph Aredo

An exchange of tries ensued with Solomon Okia showing the Bokke defence a clean pair of heels to dive and score for the first half to end 12-12.

The second half was painful for the Cranes to behold as they let away a couple of missed tackles and handling errors that enabled Siviwe Soyizwapi put an end to the oncoming upset by two tries of his own to guide South Africa to a slim 19-17 victory at full time.

At the close of the day, the Uganda Rugby 7s were placed 3rd in Pool A behind undefeated Blitzbokke on top and Kenya Morans in 2nd place.

Thus, the Uganda Rugby 7s will face reigning African Champions Zimbabwe who disappointingly finished bottom of Pool D in the first quarter-final of the Challenge Trophy in another day opening fixture at 9am on Sunday.

Day One Results

• ‪Game 1: Uganda 10-24 Kenya Morans‬
• ‪Game 2: Uganda 33-12 Burundi‬
• ‪Game 3: Uganda 17-19 South Africa‬

Ernest Akorebirungi is an amateur rugby player and a keen follower of local Ugandan rugby.

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