Sevens rugby returns in full flight after a successful inaugural Buddu event in Masaka which was then followed by a week of rest and re-strategizing. Pirates host the Henry Rujumba memorial circuit this Saturday with a perfect opportunity to gain advantage in the race for the National sevens bragging rights of 2019.
If the Sea Robbers are to achieve this feat however, they should be prepared to undo some historical barriers that have seen them fall short in the last two years. Kyadondo sides have a particular liking for this leg, having won it for the past two years with Buffaloes winning last year’s version while the Heathens walked away with the bragging rights from 2017.
Surely an unpleasant memory that Pirates will want to change hence the release of two very strong teams; Pirates and their second side; Sailors specifically to get the job done for this tournament – the goal is to wrestle the title back to their side. The significance of claiming this tournament has added impetus in that it would give the eventual circuit champion an advantage on the sevens log going into the fourth circuit.
On the Toyota side of things, Buffaloes are clearly not content with their start to the sevens series and intend to turn the heat up tomorrow – these sentiments were stated by captain Stephen Alul who said that he is backing his team’s record at the Rujumba sevens, adding that the rugby community should expect a much changed approach from the Buffaloes team that have recently upgraded their wardrobe with a new kit courtesy of their long term sponsors; Toyota.
Heathens also have a lot of work to do after two failed attempts at glory that have seen them stop at the semi final stage in the first two legs – the return of Kevin Keremundu to the green jersey will be one to lift spirits in the camp as he brings the X-factor that they will need to push them the extra mile.
MRI Rams, who are usually very efficient in the sevens game, have had a forgettable start to their campaign – sitting last among the core teams. Richard Lumu will need to change this narrative soon and find remedies to ensure that they return to their more assertive ways this weekend – Lumu has named a team that has a mix of the old and young that will definitely want to get back to playing the Rams way.
The Betway Kobs will be in search of a second triumph in the series having won the first circuit at Kyadondo but had their party pooped on by this weekend’s hosts while in Masaka. This weekend presents the perfect chance for revenge and also an opportunity to grab the advantage on the table standings – after all, what team knows how to win at Kings Park better than the Blue army !!
As always, predictions are in order because we love to make calculated guesses on who the eventual winner will be – the initial choice was Kobs for this circuit but the rumored absence of instrumental skipper; Joseph Aredo and the fact that Adrian Kasiito might not be fit for this weekend raises doubts on who will provide much needed leadership both verbally and through action. For that matter, we predict that the Stanbic Pirates are to come out victorious at their home turf. Of course, upsets are highly welcome – isn’t that why we love sports.
Henry Rujumba sevens – Kings Park Arena Bweyogerere (15th June 2019)