Lady Cranes out to make Tunisia trip count

Thursday October 10 2019

The Uganda Lady Cranes rugby 7s team was seen

The Uganda Lady Cranes rugby 7s team was seen off by the Uganda Rugby chief executive officer and URU executive committee members. COURTESY PHOTO 

By Swaib Raul Kanyike

The Lady Cranes 7s team flew to the Tunisian city of Jemmal Wednesday for the Rugby Africa 7s/Tokyo 2020 Olympics Qualifiers due this weekend.
The last time the team played at the continental showpiece in Tunisia was 2017 and they finished fourth. Last year, the team finished second in Botswana and this time, they want to believe they have learnt a lot and therefore want to put in a good shift.
After all, they know what is at stake. They know that the winner of the 12-team tournament qualifies directly to Japan, while the second and third join a global repêchage qualifier.

This year's championship is going to be even harder now that South Africa are back into the fray after skipping last year's event.
Uganda is grouped with South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
"South Africa is the best team in Africa of course. We face them in the opening game and that will give us a clear picture of our journey. We are going to give it our best. It is hard but our heads are focused on it," roared Grace Auma, the Vice Captain and a seasoned campaigner is her own right, having been part of the setup since the 2016 Olympics Qualifiers.

But as usual, the team has not had the best of preparations, especially the lack of trial games. The last time they played a competitive match was during the World Series in Hong Kong in March.
It is a frustrating situation for Coach Helen Koyokoyo Buteme but it is a situation she knows better; you must make do with what you have.
This year's team has three debutants in the shape of Thunderbirds' Agnes Nakuya and the Black Pearls pair of Lydia Namabiro and Racheal Mufuwa.
For the latter, it makes it even more special as she joins her elder sister Immaculate in the ranks. They enter the history books as the first siblings to ever play for Uganda at a major 7s tournament.

Uganda's games:
Uganda vs South Africa (1006hrs EAT)
Ugandan vs Zambia (1242hrs EAT)
Uganda vs Zimbabwe (1516hrs EAT)

Travelling team: Agnes Nakuya, Charlotte Mudoola (captain), Emilly Lekuru, Flavia Agenorwot, Gilder Azikuru, Grace Auma (assistant captain), Immaculate Mufuwa, Lydia Namabiro, Mary Gloria Ayot, Peace Mirembe, Proscovia Ayero and Racheal Mufuwa.
Coach: Helen Koyokoyo Buteme
Physio: Prossy Namusisi
Manager: Phionah Nakatete