PHOTOS: 1000 Hills players hailed after Kigali 7’s victory

Thousand Hills RFC coach Jimmy Adam Mugabo has hailed his players after winning this year’s Kigali Rugby 7’s tournament held over the weekend in Remera.
Heritier Habimana of 1000 Hills shrugs off challenge from a Resilience  player during the final game over the weekend. / T Kisambira
Heritier Habimana of 1000 Hills shrugs off challenge from a Resilience player during the final game over the weekend. / T Kisambira

Thousand Hills RFC coach Jimmy Adam Mugabo has hailed his players after winning this year’s Kigali Rugby 7’s tournament held over the weekend in Remera.

The Hills convincingly beat Rusizi-based Resilience 24-5 in the final of the one-day competition that was organised by Sharks and Thousand Rugby Clubs, and sponsored by Englishmen Andrew Kettlewell, David Mitchell and Dave Hughes.

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1000 Hills players watch the game from the bench. / Timothy Kisambira
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Ndayishimiye Egide catches the ball. / Timothy Kisambira

Speaking to Times Sport after the victory, Mugabo said, “My team played better… we had a plan, which we were able to execute. This was because of the good preparations that we had ahead of the competition.”

Mugabo said his side deserved the title because it was the best side among all the eight.

“My players, technically and tactically performed better, I must congratulate them for the commitment exhibited on the field,” he added.

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1000 Hills team celebrate after winning the Kigali Rugby Sevens Cup. / Timothy Kisambira
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Players enjoy the meal during lunch break. / Timothy Kisambira

It was not the result that Resilience Rugby Club wanted; but it was the game that Rwanda rugby enthusiasts must have enjoyed, especially the neutrals.

The first half of the thrilling game ended with the Hills leading through one conversion and a try before sealing victory in the second period with three more tries and a conversion.

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Players of 1000 Hills in blue jerseys fight for the ball with Resilient players during the final game. / Timothy Kisambira
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Players of 1000 Hills lift their coach after receiving the cup. / Timothy Kisambira

In the semi-finals, The Hills hammered Sharks Rugby Club 33-0 while Resilience were too good for Lion de Fer beating them by 26-12. Sharks took third place after defeating Lion de Fer 26-12.

The Hills walked away with the trophy and medals but it was a bitter pill to swallow for Resilience captain Jean Dieu Hakizimana, who expressed his disappointment after the competition.

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Habimana Heritier of 1000 Hills protects the ball from Resilience club player. / Timothy Kisambira
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Players of Resilient club together with 1000 Hills make a line out. / Timothy Kisambira

Hakizimana pointed out that, “Our aim was to win the tournament, so that we can end their dominance in Rwandan rugby, however that did not happen. We lost because of making some minor errors in defence.”

“All in all coming from Rusizi and beating the Kigali teams to reach the final shows that we have a good team, we have challenges that we need to overcome like sponsorship, a professional coach and may be signing better players,” he stated.

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Resilience player fights for the ball with 1000 Hills players. / Timothy Kisambira
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Shema Serge from 1000 Hills passes on the ball to his team mate. / Timothy Kisambira

At the preliminary round, Goma-based Okapi drew with Sharks 5-all in the opener before losing to Muhanga RFC 14-5. Kamonyi Pumas were beaten 22-0 by Grizzliers, who later lost 31-5 to Thousand Hills and Resilience defeated Muhanga 12-7.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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