Westnile rugby sides, Nile Leopards Ladies and Nile Leopards Men have set clear sights on the Northern Uganda Regional 7s tournament scheduled for this weekend in Kitgum.
The Uganda Rugby Union organized event which is expected to be played in 3 circuits began on 18th September in Lira and was hosted by Lira Bulls at Lango college. The second circuit heads to Kitgum with Kitgum Lions as the host with an attraction of 12 teams across northern Uganda, the men fielding 8 and the remaining slots occupied by women.
The 28 player contingent left Arua amid blessings from the heavy downpour with a huge expectation about success in the one day event.
When www.westnilesports.com caught up with the team before departure, team leader Asiku Denis stated that;
“I am aware about the quality of the team and I know we will come back victors from both categories. The challenge is that I have relatively young squads yet initially all players are supposed to be over 19 years of age but I am still hopeful that the 16,17 and 18 year olds who have travelled with parental consent will deliver given their abilities.”
And to make the semifinal cut in the afternoon, a dismal Nile Leopards men from the first circuit will have to negotiate its way past the resurgent Gulu Elephants, the Panthers and the City Falcons as the Nile Leopard Ladies have relatively easier tasks against Lira Matrix, Gulu Sprinters and Kitgum Queens.
There is a slight glimpse of hope in seeing a much improved men’s side with more profitable runs, defense and even some good number of trys which were not visible in the first circuit as a high level of expectation lies ahead of the Lady’s team that is expected to grab all the victories including against their toughest opponents, the Kitgum Queens.
Success from the imaginary semifinals will propel the sides to a usually tastier final fixture later in the evening.
Development of rugby in Westnile started a few years ago but the notorious Covid-19 pandemic took over the state of affairs until recently when light training resumed coupled with the highly anticipated resumption of the Northern Uganda 7s tournament as the national league awaits kick off.
Before the introduction of the game in the region, Westnile already had a fair representation in the national rugby league as well as the national team with star players like Wadia Victor (formerly of Makerere University, Entebbe Mongers and UTL Kobs), Ronald Adigasi of Entebbe Mongers, Pariyo Lawrence (formerly of Toyota Buffaloes), Lemeriga Ramadhan, Joel Anguyo, Asiku Denis,Denis Anguyo, Micheal Wokorach, Samiya Ayikoru, Saudah Adiru, Aziku Robert and many more.
With the current trend of events and unquestionable talent in players like Robin Phillip Odrua, Kabira Morris, Angutoko Daniel and Feni Miladi all having graduated from High School Rugby from Westnile schools where the development of the game has been under Rugby Tackling Life-Uganda, there is hope that sky will soon be the limit for the region in regard to the game.
The major activity of Rugby Tackling Life-Uganda is to advocate for girl child education and ending girl marriage through rugby as a mobilization tool in the communities.