Nobert Okeny and Michael Wokorach crestfallen after loss to Tonga. Credit: Kawowo Sports | MATIAS MATUS ACEBO

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series

  • 5th-place SF | Result:
  • Tonga 19-14 Uganda

Uganda Rugby Sevens had a rather forgettable day during the knockout stage of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series on Sunday, February 16, 2020.

After a slim 10-07 defeat against Hong Kong 7s in the 4th main cup quarter-final, the Rugby Sevens lost again to Tonga, 19-14, in the 5th-place playoff semi-final an hour later.

Uganda took an early lead in the match through Desire Ayera who pounced on a loose bouncing ball at kick-off before freeing himself from the Tonga defense and scoring. Philip Wokorach added the extras to make it 07-00.

Desire Ayera Credit: Kawowo Sports | MATIAS MATUS ACEBO

Tonga drew level midway through the half, and assumed the lead moment later with another try as the Uganda defense line broke.

The scoreboard read 12-07 at half time.

Pius Ogena handshake with TM Michael Wandera. Credit: Kawowo Sports | MATIAS MATUS ACEBO

In the second half, Uganda displayed superb rugby skills and took the lead back courtesy of Nobert Okeny’s try that was converted easily to make it 14-12. This was after Pius Ogena had done the donkey work smartly to take the Rugby Cranes into Tonga territory.

Nobert Okeny Credit: Kawowo Sports | MATIAS MATUS ACEBO

However, Uganda’s defense was not up to the task of maintaining this lead until full time to earn a place in the final.

Tonga responded and were clinical in attack to score again in the corner and lead by 19-14 after the conversion. They were strong in defense as well as they held on to be victorious after the hooter had sounded.

Full time score was 19-14 in favour of Tonga who face Zimbabwe in the 5th-place playoff final.

Uganda’s campaign in the inaugural HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series at Estadio Sausalito thus ends, and the team will be back in action at the second round in Montevideo, Uruguay from February 22-23, 2020.

Adrian Kasito, Aaron Ofoyrwoth & Philip Wokorach kneel and pray. Credit: Kawowo Sports | MATIAS MATUS ACEBO

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

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