Home Rugby Rugby Cranes Forgettable outing for Uganda rugby 7s team

Forgettable outing for Uganda rugby 7s team

by Emmanuel Sama
2 minutes read

Abysmal! That’s the one word I would use to describe the Rugby Cranes performance over the two legs of the HSBC World Rugby 7s series held in Dubai and Cape Town in the last two weeks.

Former BlitzBoks star Chris Dry described Uganda’s performance as being characterized by ‘many inaccuracies’.

I know earlier on I said this is an opportunity for players to express themselves, but this wasn’t a good advertisement for Ugandan rugby.

New faces on the National Rugby 7s team

Let’s admit it, most of you lost the gusto to keep watching the games after the first performances in the tournament.

As fans and lovers of the game, we can’t help it but put the team under scrutiny. This raises several questions like ????


The notable omission from the squad of inarguably Uganda’s greatest 7s player created a big dent in our attack.

In past times, we’ve relied on his individual brilliance to get our scoreboard ticking. Despite Denis Etwau trying to fill his boots, he still couldn’t offer what the French based playmaker brings to the team.


Are we getting this whole defense thing wrong? In most sports defense is of two types.

Zonal defense and Man to Man. In 7s, it’s very hard to cover zones, hence each player has to take on their opposite number.

This implies if a single person misses a tackle, there’s a big gap created, which is very hard to cover.

To get this man to man defense right, each player has to accurately make their tackles. Tackling is an interpersonal skill.

So it’s the role of each player to get this right. The beauty about the 7s game is that a team can have close to a non-existent defense, but cover up in attack.

Just as soccer legend Johan Cruyff stated ‘the best way to defend is to have ball possession in your opponent’s half’ so the focus is directed towards out-scoring the opponent. Well, unfortunately for us, our attack was as blunt as a vegan’s knife.


Over the two circuits, we had very little patience in attack.

Once we failed to hit or break the gainline in a couple phases, we’d resort to the kick and chase.

The tactic proved futile as we failed to get scores off it and instead resulted into loss of possession, culminating into counter attacks, and we definitely conceded.

I’m not condemning the tactic as it has worked before (Etwau scored a beautiful try off it), I’m just asking what’s the resort to option when it fails.

I’d think after all these tournaments players have been exposed to, they’d have more confidence to hold onto possession and possibly spin the straw into gold chumps, but alas! Handling errors were the highest common factor of our attack.


This has been our biggest weakness since time immemorial. We always seem to have sorted it out, but then collapse again on the big stage.

There’s a time we lost to Germany in the challenger series with almost zero chance of possession. They dominated all the restart kicks and bullied us in the air.

Previously, kick-off reception was our Achilles’s heel. However, this time round even taking the kicks became costly.

We had several restart kicks punted directly into touch, giving the opponent an early launch of their attack at the halfway point. I know we struggle at many things, but let’s get the simple things right.


Recently, one of the greatest rugby minds and most experienced test rugby coach – Eddie Jones was sacked by England.

His win record was 73%, which is higher than any of his predecessors. That’s pretty decent for test level. In fact that’s a distinction.

He drove England to the World Cup finals at his first go, and recorded 3 Six Nations titles.
I’m not calling for the sacking of Tolbert Onyango, but maybe we should start questioning him too.

He has been in charge for almost 10 years, we should be reaping from his developments now.

Chances are high we won’t get answers to these questions, but hopefully they can evoke a chain reaction which will deliver results!

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