BY GRACE LINDSAY MBABAZI
Amidst the radiant buzz of Dubai, the Uganda Lady Cranes marked their debut in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series. The thrill and challenge unfolded on Day One, as they faced a formidable lineup. The opening encounter against Belgium proved intense, with a narrow 7-5 defeat. Sandra Lona’s brilliant try added a glimmer to the closely contested match.
The day’s final clash against Thailand brought a spirited effort from Uganda. Despite a 19-7 loss, Captain Peace Lekuru showcased her prowess by securing Uganda’s lone try, along with a successful conversion. As the sun set on Day One, Head Coach Peter Onen reflected on the team’s performance, acknowledging the steep learning curve and impressive strides made, even in the face of two losses.
Coach Onen remarked,
“In our inaugural tournament, the girls are undergoing a steep learning curve. The first half was challenging; we faced numerous attempts and mishandled ball contacts. Penalties went against us. Yet, the second half displayed notable improvement dominance prevailed. The girls recognize the challenges and, as we review day one, we’ll pinpoint areas for enhancement. Despite the toughness, I’m impressed by their efforts. In this debut, we’ve shown considerable growth.”
Captain Lekuru, a standout performer in the second game, shared her perspective.
“We’re here to rectify the challenges we’ve faced. As rookies in the Challenger Series, every experience is a lesson, and we’re embracing the learning curve.”
The journey continues as Uganda looks ahead to their last pool game on 13/01/2024 against Papua New Guinea, determined to build on the lessons learned and make a lasting impression in this inaugural tournament.
Day One Women’s Results:
Belgium 7-5 Uganda
Thailand 19-7 Uganda