Sunday, 4 September 2016

The Kobs show

ICYMI: The Betway Kobs outfit have made it two for two so far in the Ugandan Rugby calendar. The Blue boys retained the National 7s on points accrued despite a loss to in the last Kyadondo themed Roke Telekom 7s series to perennial rivals in Hima Cement Heathens, 24-29.

One of these two sides had been poised from the start to walk away with the crown and a Kobs win was not far from the bookies sights. Both Kobs and Heathens had accumulated 78 points over the 5-legged series, each of the sides winning two series but Kobs emerged victor having had a better points difference. There was an unfamiliar winner in the first series held at Makerere, when home side,  Mulago Rams beat Mongers in the finale but you can say programming returned to normal when Kobs won the subsequent two sets in Jinja and at home, Legends, while remembering Kitaka, before Heathens claimed the last two, one hosted at Legends, to celebrate 20 years of Pirates rugby and the final set in their own backyard, at Kyadondo.

No team has won the 7s honors more than Hima Cement Heathens in history and this recent win only means Kobs have retained the trophy they won last year having toppled a stubborn Kyadondo side in Toyota Buffaloes.

There are always concerns about the level of talent displayed at this event, given that it coincides with the international calendar and the best players have to go off and make Uganda proud, but different teams have learnt to use it as a cornerstone for developing new strategies and new options for their teams. Heathens welcomed back from national duty the Wokorach boys, Lawrence Ssebuliba & the Asuman Mugerwa to help their charge into regaining 7s glory, while Kobs were adding Davis Kiwalabye and Aredo Joseph to a team Keith Seruyange had made his own, with unfamiliar talisman, James Ijongat. Despite the loss, new Ugandan hero & Kabras freshest acquisition, Phillip Wokorach, was upbeat about the Uganda Cup and had this to say about Heathens' chances.

"The different teams are stepping up and it's going to be good to see more fight from the likes of Hippos, Rams & Mongers."

Having added the 7s silverware to the Nile Special League trophy they secured in May, again having lost the final game to Hima Cement Heathens at Kyadondo rugby grounds, the Legends dons now aim to make a clean sweep and lay claims to ultimate rugby supremacy in the Pearl of Africa when the Uganda Cup kicks off not so later this year. Coming from a tumultuous season which saw him miss a few crucial games for both Kobs & Uganda, utility back Joseph Aredo was in bullish celebration mood and sent a strong message to their opponents in Uganda Cup.

"The boys are pumped. Hopefully, if we can shake off the rust and avoid injuries, we're serious title contenders."

Uganda Cup Draws :

1. Hima Cement Heathens Vs Mbale Elephants
2. Betway Kobs Vs Stallions
3. Mutoni Warriors vs Jinja Hippos
4. Shell Rimula Rhinos Vs UCU Shepherds
5. Sadolin Mongers Vs Gulu Elephants
6. Buzz Pirates Vs Walukuba
7. Toyota Buffaloes Vs Kyambogo
8. Makerere Impis Vs Mulago Rams

The first round of the Uganda Cup has set up a hot derby when both Graveyard clubs i.e Makerere Impis & Mulago Rams lock horns. Let the games begin.