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Stanbic Black Pirates Clinch National Rugby 7s Championship :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Stanbic Black Pirates Clinch National Rugby 7s Championship

The national sevens competition this year featured 11 teams hailing from different corners of the nation. The teams participated in a series of seven circuits, which took place in Kampala, Jinja city, Kitgum, Fortportal, and Tororo municipality.
Players of Black pirates celebrate their victory. URU photo.
Stanbic Black Pirates have emerged as the undisputed champions of the national rugby 7s tournament, securing a resounding victory by accumulating 134 points across seven circuits held in various regions of the country. The team's triumphant moment came on Sunday, as they were officially crowned champions. In a fitting celebration of their achievement, the team was presented with a trophy and a cash prize of Shillings 5 million.

This honor was bestowed upon them during the Kyabazinga 7s circuit, where they also emerged victorious by defeating Toyota Buffaloes with a commanding score of 29-7. The national sevens competition this year featured 11 teams hailing from different corners of the nation. The teams participated in a series of seven circuits, which took place in Kampala, Jinja, Fort Portal cities, and Kitgum and Tororo municipalities. 

Throughout the circuits, Stanbic Black Pirates consistently held the top position, asserting their dominance. Heathens secured the second position with 114 points, while Kobs and Jinja Hippos closely followed in third and fourth places, achieving 109 and 103 points respectively. Kapalaga Kimeze, the manager of Stanbic Black Pirates, commended the squad for their unwavering dedication and hard work. Despite facing challenges such as the absence of key players who were called up to the national rugby team. 

"The boys have been consistent with hard work throughout the tournament, making them desirable to scoop this year's national 7s, champions crown, despite the absence of our key players," he said. Kimeze acknowledged the strenuous nature of the tournament, with players enduring injuries over the course of the tightly packed two-month 7s circuit. 

Erasmus Aredo, the Chairman of the Uganda Rugby Union-URU 7s, praised all the participating teams for their high level of professionalism and skill on display. He noted the reduced instances of fouls and highlighted the exceptional performance of Stanbic Black Pirates in winning the fiercely competitive 7s series. Aredo highlighted the positive impact of the nationwide 7s tournaments on the perception of rugby. The increased awareness of safety precautions, rules, and available medical support has led to a change in perception, dispelling notions of rugby as a rough sport. 

Duncan Kiirya, the upcountry URU representative, emphasized the positive outcomes of allowing top rugby league teams to engage with the community clubs. He explained that this strategy has significantly boosted the popularity of rugby among grassroots communities and has generated interest in the sport's employment prospects. Kiirya commended local governments and cultural institutions for endorsing and actively participating in the circuits.  

He said their involvement has contributed to the sport's growth by incorporating the preferences and needs of their communities. Leonard Lubambula, the head coach of Walukuba Barbarians, lauded the 7s series for providing young players with invaluable exposure to professional rugby skills. He mentioned that the confidence gained through these circuits enables junior players to compete confidently against their more experienced counterparts in upcoming rugby premier league matches. 

Osman Noor, the 2nd Deputy Premier of Busoga Kingdom, recognized rugby's potential as a significant sports career in the region. He encouraged URU to increase the frequency of similar tournaments throughout the year, believing it would further extend sporting knowledge to grassroots communities.

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