Credit: John Batanudde

The Lake Victoria peninsula city of Entebbe may be only about thirty kilometers from the capital Kampala but for men’s rugby, it is classified as upcountry, especially when talking about Sevens. One struggles to recall the last time a circuit was hosted in the picturesque town yet home team Mongers have brought home some trophies in the recent past.

While Lugogo is the men’s focal point, Entebbe is the women’s territory. The women have hosted multiple circuits there across two tiers at two different grounds – Namate close to the main road and Busambaga towards the lake – even during the days of lockdowns.

But this weekend, men’s sevens rugby finally comes to Entebbe. The second round of the 2022 Nile Special Sevens Series will be played on Saturday, August 13, 2022, at Namate Works Grounds.

Initially set to be hosted in Mbale City but transferred to Entebbe after torrential rains and flooding struck the Eastern Region early this month, this will be the first of three one-day circuits on the calendar.

Pools for Entebbe Sevens (invitational team*):

  • Pool A: Black Pirates, Heathens, Warriors, Boks*.
  • Pool B: Impis, Buffaloes, Kobs, Mongers.
  • Pool C: Rams, Jinja Hippos, Walukuba, Rhinos*.

Central Region’s champions Rhinos and runners-up Boks have been invited to complement the ten core teams drawn into three pools for the event.

Fresh start for defending champions

Kobs Rugby Club had a calamitous start to their sevens title defence during the Wakiso Sevens. They finished an all-time low eighth place in the overall standings; a consequence of, apparently, in-house squabbles that had them fielding a squad of what would be their fringe players.

Lest they run out of time to win their third consecutive title, Kobs need, and must, arrive in Entebbe with ambitions of making a fresh start to the season. Or at least that’s what I expect of the championship-winning outfit.

And likewise, Heathens, who were sixth at the end of the opening event. But theirs aren’t consequences of troubles off the pitch; they were just unable to throw the killer punch when they needed to.

On the other hand, as the cats wake up from their slumber, the mice could continue playing on their turf. The Makerere boys, Impis and Rams, and Buffaloes may become a mainstay in the Cup semifinals.

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

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