Uganda Women’s Rugby Tournament kicks off with round one fixtures of regional 10-a-side games

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By Ali Mutanje

“Led by the men but the women keep the tempo”

We may have heard this said somewhere else but it can not be more true than it is going to be this season in Ugandan rugby. The men’s games returned first and they have been decorating the weekends with exciting sports action in the Uganda Rugby Union Premiership. However, after tackling some huddles, the women will keep up the pace with the return of competitive women’s rugby this weekend.

Women’s rugby has always hit peaks not very low from the summits the men’s game has attained over the years. In some cases the women’s game in Uganda has climbed bigger mountains than their male counterparts. The national women’s rugby 15s team boast of 23 full internationals of which it has collected 8 wins against the Kenyan women and 2 wins against the Rwandese women team. The Uganda women rugby 7s has an even shinier badge panel with a Women’s 7s Rugby World Cup 13th position finish in the 2009 games and a 3rd place finish in the 2013 editions of the Women’s Africa Cup Sevens.

There is therefore no way the women’s rugby could be left behind. Not even the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic would keep it under the radar.

And finally here it is!!! Uganda Rugby Union had intended to have this tournament feature on the sports scene earlier. 20th March to be precise. But a hiccup with the funds for SOPs like COVID-19 testing of players and officials delayed the works.

This time round, all seems to be set. The players and officials got their not so comfortable throat swabs done earlier on in the week and the 17th of April will be the day that the women of Ugandan rugby keep the tempo.

Uganda Rugby Union has organized a 10-a-side competition that will in the first round be played in three regions of the country: Eastern region, Central region, and Northern region.

The Eastern region games will be the first on the menu on the 17th of April at Bumangeni Primary School field in Bugema, in Mbale City. Four teams are scheduled to feature in this tournament that will see each team meet the other three in a single robin round before the best two performing teams will face off in what will be the final game to determine a regional champion. The four teams that will feature are: Mbale Eagles, Nyondo, Bugema, and Bumangeni.

The Central region will be in action the following day, 18th of April at the Entebbe Works Grounds. Teams in the Central region have been divided into two tiers. Tier 1 will be the kraal for the big girls that featured in the 2020 15-a-side women league. It will have the Black Pearls, the Avengers, and the Thunderbirds who were champions last year. Tier 2 has the Lady Swans, the Blue Whales, the Ewes, and the Black Diamonds. Each of the two tiers will play it out to determine a tier champion that will tussle it out with other regional champions on a yet to be announced date in a knock out competition that will see a national champion crowned.

The Northern region shall have the Lira Matrix, the Gulu Sprinters, the Kitgum Queens, and the Aduku Tigers. These four teams are from Lira, Kitgum and Gulu. The Northern region teams will take stage on the 24th of April and again like in other regional tournaments will be required to play it out till the last women will stand as regional winners to represent the region at the national level.

It promises to be an interesting weekend. The women will show that they too can get those tackles on. The eyes will be on the ball and we shall see who says that rugby is a gentleman’s game.

UG sports will be on top of things to keep you updated with all the action and reaction. right here: https://ugsports.net/rugby/

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