Rugby Cranes out to break pool shackles

Possession. Seves star Aaron Ofoyrworth is tackled by Kenyans during  the Africa Cup semis as Norbert Okeny closes in at Kyadondo. PHOTO / EDDIE CHICCO 
 

What you need to know:

  • They start against Kenya in what looks like Uganda’s most important game if they are to progress from the pool.

The Rugby Cranes Sevens kickoff their sixth campaign at the Commonwealth Games this afternoon at Coventry Stadium with one goal at the back of their minds.

As the side prepared for the Birmingham Games, coach Tolbert Onyango made it clear every single day how the target is making it out of the pool. Uganda were drawn in Pool D with Australia and Kenya who are regulars on the World Rugby Sevens Series circuit. Jamaica completes the tough group.

“Our target is qualifying from the pool stages and see where we end up from there,” Onyango told Daily Monitor. Uganda has never made it out of the pool since they first qualified for the Commonwealth Games in 2006 in Melbourne, Australia.

They start against Kenya in what looks like Uganda’s most important game if they are to progress from the pool. Beating Australia is way tougher than getting one over Kenya. The latter lost to Uganda in the Africa Men’s semis in Kyadondo in April, making the Birmingham meeting one of vengeance.

Pool jinx

Jamaica should be the whipping boys of the pool unless they produce an upset.

Uganda will need a couple of wins to ensure they break the pool jinx. “ We believe we can emerge from the pool. It is important to win our first game,” Cranes captain Michael Wokorach told Daily Monitor, via text from the Commonwealth Games Village.

After arriving in the United Kingdom on Tuesday, the side has settled in well with light training sessions to get them going for the two-day event. The side is also oozing confidence after winning a third Africa Cup in six years under Onyango, who will also lead the side to Chile for the World Challenger Series after the Commonwealth Games.

TODAY IN BIRMINGHAM:
Kenya  vs. Uganda, 1:48pm
Australia vs. Uganda,      10:18pm

TOMORROW
Jamaica vs. Uganda,1:26pm

THE DIFFERENT POOLS
Pool A
New Zealand, England, Samoa, S.Lanka
Pool B: 
South Africa, Scotland, Tonga, Malaysia.
Pool C: 
Fiji, Canada, Wales, Zambia
Pool D
Australia, Kenya, Uganda, Jamaica

CWG HISTORY

1998: Did not qualify
2002: Did not qualify
2006: Bowl
Semifinals
(lost 29-0 to Kenya)
2010: Bowl

Semifinals (lost
22-17 to Canada)

2014: Bowls

Semifinals ( lost
32-0 to Canada)

2018: Eliminated at
group stages
(finished 12 out 16)
 


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