It is three weeks since the third round of the 2019 Guinness and Roke Telkom National Sevens Rugby league, that was held at the King’s Park, Bweyogerere, the home of the Stanbic Black Pirates Rugby club.
The Sevens league had taken a break, to allow for the national men and women’s teams face Kenya in the Elgon Cup first leg on June 21.
However, as it returns this weekend with the fourth round of action at Legends, it is expected to be riveting. The Betway Kobs have won two of the previous three circuits. And together with the Pirates, who have one the other, and are also the defending champions of the national sevens rugby cup, the battle for honours is expected to be largely between the two.
It was a sad moment for the Pirates players, when, in the last minute, leading 14-10, slipped and allowed Kobs a try, which gave them a 15-14 lead.
“We had this game,” said Ivan Magomu, the Pirates Captain. “But our failure to tighten up on defence at a critical time, cost us. It really hurt to lose our home final in such a manner,” Magomu added.
Evidently, from the reaction of the Pirates players upon the final whistle, they were distraught. It was the second time they were facing Kobs on their turf, and ending up losing. But Magomu said, that all proceedings from that round of fixtures is forgotten. They are now looking forward to action tomorrow.
They want to make up for the last disappointment by winning the fourth round at Legends, and keep alive their hopes of winning the 2019 national sevens rugby cup. Pirates coach Bobby Musinguzi said that their focus is simply on winning the fourth round, not avenging for Kobs defeat.
“We want to express ourselves and play good rugby. That will enable us win,” Musinguzi said. As a point of emphasis, Magomu noted that they have worked on all the facets of their game. To supplement their quick passing game, the defence has got to be top notch, and that inevitably includes the tackling, to stop whichever opponent they face.
That said, Kobs are not resting on their laurels. Pius Ogena told The Observer that their fighting spirit has kept them competitive in the three rounds of this year’s sevens rugby championship. “We know every team is targeting us, and more particularly, the Pirates, whom we beat last time in the final,” Ogena said.
However, Ogena added, that this tournament is not just about Kobs and Pirates. There are other teams (Toyota Buffaloes, Jinja Hippos and Hima Cement Heathens), with the power and ability. Heathens have finished third in two of the previous three rounds of sevens rugby played, while the Toyota Buffaloes were third and fourth in the first two rounds at Kyadondo and in Masaka respectively. Take them lightly at your peril.