Jinja Hippos Clinch Maiden National 7s Title

Buffaloes 7s final
Sunday, October 16
*Blacks Pirates 07-00 Jinja Hippos


Jinja Hippos were for the first time in their history crowned champions of the National Rugby 7s after stunning a classy field of teams.

The Hippos lost the final circuit, Buffaloes 7s, at Kyadondo to Pirates in the final but had already sealed the title.

Coming into the Buffaloes 7s, the Hippos needed to finish in third place to walk away with the title.

And they beat their nearest challenger Heathens 12-05 in the semis to seal their maiden title.

Coach Saidi Atibu’s charges finished top of the leaderboard with 128 points, nine above Heathens (119) while Pirates (109) and KOBs (108) followed in third and fourth respectively.

Hippos have been the fourth-best team for the past years, behind the big three of Heathens, KOBs and Pirates, in both 7s and 15s version, but managed to stun odds this time round.

The National 7s is a marathon race and Hippos takes the title for being consistent after reaching five finals out of the seven circuits.

They started poorly when they finished 5th at the Wakiso 7s after falling 10-05 in Impis in the quarters to settle for 13 points.

But reached the final in the next two circuits – Entebbe and Arua – losing both to Heathens.

They came third at Rujumba 7s in Kings Park and went on top of leaderboard when they lost to KOBs in Fort Portal 7s final.

And extended their lead in the penultimate circuit they hosted in Jinja, which they went on to win to move seven points clear.

Going to Buffaloes 7s, the last circuit, they needed to finish third to take the overall title. They reached the quarters after coming out of an easy group that had Warriors, Jaguars and Rhinos.

And in the quarters, they dispatched Mongers 10-00 to set up a mouthwatering semifinal clash with Heathens.

Tries from Taufik Bagalana and Timothy Mugisha handed them a win over Heathens, that handed them the title and a trip to the Buffaloes 7s final.

In the final, they lost to Pirates 07-00 with Timothy Odong scoring a converted try for the Sea Robbers, but the Hippos had already accumulated enough points.

The Walukuba Barbarians finished bottom and hence lose their 7s Core Status, with Rhinos who recently earned promotion taking the slot.

Table

  1. Jinja Hippos – 128
  2. Heathens – 119
  3. Pirates – 109
  4. KOBs – 108
  5. Impis – 87
  6. Buffaloes – 83
  7. Rams – 77
  8. Mongers – 67
  9. Warriors – 63
  10. Walukuba – 61

Buffaloes 7s semifinals
*Pirates 15-14 KOBs
*Heathens 05-12 Jinja Hippos

Past Winners

2006 – KOBs
2007 – Heathens
2008 – Heathens
2009 – Heathens
2010 – Impis
2011 – Heathens
2012 – Heathens
2013 – Heathens
2014 – Buffaloes
2015 – KOBs
2016 – KOBs
2017 – KOBs
2018 – Pirates
2019 – KOBs
2020 – N/A (Covid19l
2021 – KOBs
2022 – Jinja Hippos

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