Solomon Okia Credit: Seven Punta
  • Sunday, February 23, 2020:
  • Result: Zimbabwe 24-26 Uganda

It was a repeat of the 2019 Rugby Africa Men’s Sevens semifinal in Johannesburg, South Africa during the 9th place final of the second round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Uganda beat Zimbabwe, 21-12, in Johannesburg in the last meeting between the two African giants before the Challenger Series. This time, however, it went down to the last play of the match as both teams scrambled for the 9th place finish in Montevideo.

Pius Ogena gave Uganda an early 05-00 lead scoring in the corner from a sharp Ian Munyani pass out wide.

Zimbabwe responded strongly with 3 unanswered tries. A brace from Biselele Tshamala & a tackle-breaking try from Tapiwa Tsomondo put Zimbabwe in the driving seat of the match going into half time as they led 19-05.

Tapiwa Tsomondo breaks Aaron Ofoywroth’s tackle to score. Credit: Seven Punta

After the break, Uganda reduced the deficit to just 7 points through Solomon Okia with his trademark try under the uprights when he pinned his ears back and beat the Zimbabweans for pace.

Zimbabwe inched further away with a try almost immediately as Tsomondo’s kick across the pitch was found by Shingi Katsvere who collected easily and scored to make it 24-12.

However, the tides changed as Uganda fought back through captain Michael Wokorach who found the gap in the middle to sprint away with ball in hand for a try under the poles.

Uganda came within 5 points of Zimbabwe as the clock wound down to the last minute of play.

Zimbabwe’s defense was broken again at the same point by the same move when Philip Wokorach put on the afterburners and made a swift dash for the try.

Uganda thus led 26-24 with seconds to play, and they didn’t have to hold on for so long as the ball would find touch and the referee’s whistle signalled full time.

Ian Munyani attempts a try saving tackle Credit: Seven Punta

With the points collected from the two rounds, Uganda finished among the top 8 teams in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series and booked their place at the Hong Kong Sevens tournament where they will battle for promotion to the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

Full Results from the Second Round in Montevideo, Uruguay:

  • Pool B:
  • Uganda 00-10 Jamaica
  • Uganda 19-12 Brazil
  • Hong Kong 38-12 Uganda
  • 9th place quarterfinal:
  • Uganda 56-07 Paraguay
  • 9th place semifinal:
  • Papua New Guinea 19-22 Uganda
  • 9th place final:
  • Zimbabwe 24-26 Uganda

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

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