Rugby: Iron Lions and Ruhango Zebras crowned Big Ant 7s champions | The new times
Iron Lion 19-10 Kampala Rams
Ruhango Zebras 22 against 00 UR Rukara
Rwandan rugby giants Lions de Fer and Ruhango Zebras beat Kampala Rams and University of Rwanda Rukara respectively to win the inaugural edition of the Big Ant Studios Rugby 7s international tournament in Kigali this weekend.
Organized by the local rugby union governing body (RRF), the two-day tournament attracted 25 teams in total, including 16 men’s teams and nine teams who competed in the women’s category.
Male runners-up Kampala Rams were the only foreign team to take part in the tournament while Friends of Rwandan Rugby were the only new face in local rugby competitions.
The tournament kicked off on Saturday June 11 at the Kacyiru Red Cross Ground, starting with the group stages as teams competed for tickets to the knockout stages. The men’s teams were grouped into four groups while the women’s teams were grouped into two groups with two teams from each group qualifying for the group stages.
The round of 16 was played on Sunday with Iron Lion winning the men’s tournament after beating Kampala Rams 19-10 in the final to lift the trophy while Ruhango Zebras beat UR Rukara with a comfortable 22-00 win to claim the final. .
Individual awards went to Patrick Ikorukwishatse of the Iron Lions as Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the men’s category while Yvette Uwimpuhwe of Ruhango Zebras won MVP in the women’s category.
Tharcisse Kamanda, the president of the Rwanda Rugby Federation, was impressed with the competitiveness the teams showed during the tournament and hopes the gradual improvement will put Rwanda in the right position to impress at the Commonwealth Games.
“Rugby is one of the games that feature in the Commonwealth Games and with the performance shown by the Rwandan teams throughout the tournament, we hope to produce the team that can perform well at these Games in the future,” Kamanda said.