Frank Kidega Credit: John Batanudde

Rugby fans new to the sport within the past five years witnessed a weekend of firsts at the Wakiso Sevens. The first time Kobs and Heathens did not play in the Cup Semifinals, the first time Impis played in the Cup Final, and Rams their Makerere tenants completed the podium.

This promises to be a season of many firsts. The Wakiso Sevens, hosted at King’s Park in Bweyogerere, was the first of seven circuits in this year’s National Rugby Sevens Series.

However, what the new fans have seen before is Black Pirates winning a Sevens circuit. In the Cup Final, the home team beat Impis, 15-00, to throw down the gauntlet and dare their title challengers.

In my preview for the knockout round, I predicted an early exit for title favourites, Kobs, given how they had performed in the pool stage on day one.

The defending champions ended up finishing in eighth place to register their lowest finish in any series in aeons. In a similar script for Heathens, the record champions were two places above them.

Also, this week, I held the belief that Jinja Hippos, who have finished fourth in the past two seasons in both Sevens and XVs, would be best placed in terms of motive and resources to upset the status quo.

But that didn’t happen as they lost to Impis, 10-05, in the Cup Quarterfinal. They had to settle for fifth place after a morale-boosting 15-00 victory over Heathens.

Instead, onto the big stage, stepped up new challengers in Impis, Rams, and Buffaloes.

Impis matched all the way to the Cup Final, winning 4/6 matches over the two days’ action. Rams were too strong for Buffaloes in the bronze medal match but the latter will be proud of their youngster Aaron Tukei who was named MVP for an outstanding performance.

Aaron Tukei Credit: John Batanudde

Current Standings:

PositionTeam NamePoints
1Black Pirates22
2Impis19
3Rams17
4Buffaloes15
5Jinja Hippos13
6Heathens12
7Warriors10
8Kobs10
9Rhinos8
10Walukuba Barbarians7
11Sailors5
12Mongers5
13Rams II3
14Intangas2
15Boks1
16Jaguars1

The next circuit will be a one-day event hosted on August 13 at Busambaga in Entebbe. It was moved from Mbale in the Eastern Region due to the natural disaster that struck the region after torrential rains late last week.

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

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