In October 2017, Adrian Kasito last minute try ensured Uganda were back-to-back Africa 7s champions and hence automatic qualification for the Sevens Rugby World Cup the year after in San Francisco.
Uganda’s first appearance at the mixed feelings affair with impressive results, as well as lackluster performances.
Pre Round of 16 : Samoa 45-07 Uganda
From the start of the game, nerves and panic are the two best suited words to describe the situation that was in the Cranes camp for that specific game. Samoa came running at Uganda so fast, catching the latter off guard on the back foot. The Cranes were left chasing gaps and shadows. To add insult to injury, skipper Michael Wokorach would get sin-binned. Uganda conceded two quick tries in that interval. Michael came back on the pitch to score Uganda’s first ever try at the world cup. It was too little late against Samoa’s tally of seven tries, of which 5 were converted. Owing to the loss and revised format, Uganda were demoted to the Bowl competition, and set to face Zimbabwe, while Samoa proceeded to the round of 16 to play England.
For Uganda – T: Michael Wokorach. C: Aaron Ofoiwroth
Bowl Quarterfinals : Uganda 24-10 Zimbabwe
After settling in America, the real Cranes showed up like the brilliant rugby players the country and world has come to know. Phillip Wokorach was doing Phillip Wokorach things. He danced past Zimbabwe defenders to score Uganda’s first try, which Aaron converted calmly. Not before long, Solomon Okia came to life too, after his quick start caught Zimbabwe napping on the back foot to double Uganda’s lead. Featuring next in the risen category was James Odong who also got his name on the scoreboard to score Uganda’s third try and send the game to the break. Zimbabwe came from the break a hungrier cheetah and were rewarded with two unconverted tries. James Odong would later blindside Zimbabwe and score Uganda’s fourth try and his second of the game and put the game beyond reprieve for the Cheetahs. After that win, Uganda set up a semifinal clash with Chile, a team they beat 14-10 earlier in the year in Hong Kong.
For Uganda – T: Phillip Wokorach, Solomon Okia, James Odong(2)
C: Aaron Ofoiwroth (2)
Bowl Semifinals : Uganda 17-20 Chile
Let us say Chile’s kit resembling that of Samoa did a number on Uganda. Early in the game, Michael Wokorach was rounded and Chile would inadvertently score in the corner. There were two more quick tries from Chile, with the South Americans capitalizing on Uganda’s disorganization. Chile were leading 15-00 before Phillip Wokorach would goosestep his way to the try line for Uganda’s first try of the game before the break. Uganda came back stronger in the second half scoring through Timothy Kisiga. Chile would later pounce on another defensive howler from Uganda to score their fourth try of the game and put it beyond Uganda. The Africa 7s champions were not sitting back as Phillip Wokorach found space in the Chilean defense to grab his second five pointer of the game. Uganda’s chase came so close but was not enough and Chile advanced to the Bowl finals winning 20-17 at the expense of Uganda who were relgated to the 19th place playoff, to play Uruguay.
For Uganda: T: Phillip Wokorach (2), Timothy Kisiga. C: Phillip Wokorach
19th Place Playoff : Uganda 38-28 Uruguay
With the near miss against Chile still hurting, Uganda were quick on the prowl and it was Kisiga Timothy who ran through to score the first try of the game. Vintage Wokorach Phillip came to the scene with a beautiful run on the wing to extend Uganda’s lead. Phillip turned creator as he set up Aaron Ofoiwroth for Uganda’s third. Things turned for the worse for Paraguay as they were reduced to 6 men. Timothy Kisiga was back on the board with two tries to complete his hat-trick. Pius Ogena got Uganda’s only try of the second half through Pius Ogena but had to dig deep to fend a late comeback for 6 man Paraguay as the latter scored four converted tries in the second half. With a 38-28 win, Uganda finished the Sevens World Cup in 19th.
For Uganda: T: Timothy Kisiga (3), Pius Ogena, Phillip Wokorach, Aaron Ofoiwroth
C: Phillip Wokorach (4)
Uganda went to San Francisco seeded 20, only above Tonga, Zimbabwe, Papua New Guinea and Jamaica but with two losses and two wins, they finished a place higher.
Top Points scorers:
- Phillip Wokorach – 30
- Timothy Kisiga – 20
- Aaron ofoiwroth – 11
- James Odong – 10
- Solomon Okia – 5
- Michael Wokorach – 5
- Pius Ogena – 5