This Wednesday, the back-to-back, defending and reigning Africa 7s Champions, Uganda, have been flagged off at the National Council of Sports, for this years edition of Africa 7s to take place 13th-14th October in Tunisia.
The 7s Cranes won the crown last year in Kampala after a late Adrian Kasito enabled them to go past Zimbabwe 10-07 in the final. They had earlier won it for their first ever time, in 2016, in Nairobi beating Namibia 38-19 in the finale.
With this record in mind, Coach Tolbert is aware his boys are the target this weekend.
“Obviously, there is pressure of winning it third time round but we are really not thinking about it. We are seeded second in pool B with Ghana and Senegal. Once we finish with the Ghana in the first pool game, we will check out Senegal and the rest will take care of itself,” said Coach Tolbert Onyango.
“We are going out there with an aim of winning the trophy. The boys are confident they can bring it home. Of all 12 team, everyone wants to win it. If you look at Ghana in our group, we played them last year and they gave us a hard time. We are not taking them lightly, and it will be A game from start to finish.”
Uganda’s captain Michael Wokorach seems to share his coach’s thoughts about the pressure on the boys and how everyone else in the competition view the Cranes.
“We are working towards that. Defending a trophy is not easy. We have put a lot in place. we are trying to see that when we go to Tunisia, we are clinical and we go in to work hard and retain the trophy. I think we have built a lot of more experience and we expect a lot form ourselves,” said Captain Michael.
This year sees Kenya return and in first seed owing to their experiences in the HSBC series. Nambia, who lost to Uganda 38-19 in the final in 2016 and did not take part in 2017 owing to financial constraints are back for the competition.
“We are very upset that we are not seeded first after winning it (Africa 7s crown) twice, and in a row. It is understandable though, that Kenya playing in the world series have more experience than us but we are catching up. Its going to be an interesting tourney with Kenya in there. The kind of physicality they bring hasn’t been experienced in the Africa 7s cup,” said a rather confident Tolbert Onyango.
A cautious Michael Wokorach said, ” It wont be easy because we have Kenya this year, and Namibia coming back to play 7s.”
Uganda 7s team for Africa 7s:
- Michael Wokorach – Hima Cement Heathens
- Justin Kimono – Betway Kobs
- Pius Ogena – Hima Cement Heathens
- Byron Oketayot – Shell Rimula Rhinos
- Solomon Okia – Kenya Harlequins
- Aaron Ofoywroth – Kenya Harlequins
- Philip Wokorach – Kabras Sugar
- Adrian Kasito – Betway Kobs
- Timothy Kisiga – Black Pirates
- Isaac Kityo Massa – Black Pirates
- Haruna Muhammad – Black Pirates
- Ian Munyani – Betway Kobs