Rugby Cranes yielding from South Africa camp

Friday May 14 2021
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Making Hay. Rugby Cranes are in Stellenbosch polishing their skills and fine-tuning their games in preparation for an Olympic qualifier. COURTESY PHOTO

By Deus Bugembe

The Rugby Sevens departed for Stellenbosch, South Africa last week for a 10-day solidarity camp.
There, coach Tolbert Onyango were penciled in for two tournaments including South Africa, South Africa Academy, Kenya and Zimbabwe.
These games are meant to aid preparations for the final Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifying tournament in Monaco, France next month.

The first tournament was played last weekend with Uganda showing some improvement despite not picking the best results.
They return for the second and last tournament today before returning home. Grueling sessions and bonding have improved the mood and performance of the side on pitch.
“We have really improved and the training is good. The games are harsh but the reality is we have to improve,” said Adrian Kasito says. There is a media blackout to enhance focus.

Booked tickets
The last of the two-day tournaments gives Uganda another platform to test themselves against two sides, Kenya and South Africa, who have already booked their places at the quadrennial Games.
Onyango travelled with a group of 15 players but will require 12 for the Monaco mission. It will be Uganda’s second attempt at qualifying for the Olympics.
However, it remains a tall order with top sides fighting for only one slot left at the Olympics.

The draws for the Monaco tournament were released earlier in the week, placing Uganda in pool B with World Rugby Series core side France, Hong Kong, Chile and Jamaica.
Pool A has Samoa, Ireland, Tonga, Zimbabwe and Mexico. The lineup tells why Uganda is doing all to be in the best shape come the Olympics qualifiers.
On departure, Onyango was confident the side would return to a better outfit from South Africa.

TOKYO OLYMPICS
QUALIFYING POOLS

Pool A: Samoa, Ireland, Tonga, Zimbabwe, Mexico
Pool B: France, Hong Kong, Chile, Jamaica, Uganda

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