Sunday December 3 2017

Rugby Cranes 7s show marked progress at HSBC Series in Dubai

By ISMAIL DHAKABA KIGONGO

KAMPALA.

There were significant signs of improvement from the Rugby Cranes as they featured in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series for a second successive season.
However, not even that was enough to earn the Ugandan national teams a victory in Dubai on Friday, losing all their three games in an tough Pool A.
Uganda lost 19-10 to the reigning HSBC World champions South Africa in the opening while Solomon Okia and Philip Wokorach shared a slice of history.
Their tries were the first points Uganda has ever scored against a side that won five of the 10 legs of the 2016-17 series and also hold the Commonwealth Games title.
Exactly a year ago, the Blitzbokke 7s thumped Uganda 46-0 at the same Sevens Stadium. That 19-10 loss must have pointed to better results ahead for coach Tolbert Onyango’s (pic inset) side.
Okia would again touch down twice against Canada. James Odongo got the other in a 22-17 loss. The final flourish never came.
Riddled by extremely poor kick-offs, Kenya eased past Rugby Cranes 29-14 in the final pool game. Okia and Wokorach gave the score line respect with tries. Those results further emphasized the progress as Uganda lost 29-7 and 35-14 to USA and Scotland last year at the same stage in Dubai.
Then, the two-time African 7s champions were playing in the tournament that brings together the best 192 players across the globe for the first time in 10 years.
Upon the completion of the Dubai leg, Rugby Cranes head to South Africa for the second of the 10-legged series in Cape Town next weekend.
All this will aid the side’s preparations for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series qualifiers in Hong Kong next April plus the Commonwealth Games in Australia and a maiden World Cup appearance.

HSBC WORLD RUGBY SEVENS SERIES
DAY ONE RESULTS
South Africa 19-10 Uganda
Canada 22-17 Uganda
Kenya 29-14 Uganda

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