Saturday, April 10
*Hippos V Rams, 3:00pm – Damwaters
*Mongers V Buffaloes 4:00pm – Entebbe
*Pirates V Rhinos, 4:00pm – Kings Park
*Impis V Warriors, 4:00pm – Makerere
*Betway KOBs V Heathens, 4:00pm – Legends
The biggest game in the land is here. Its Betway KOBs playing host to rivals Heathens in a pulsating Nile Special Stout Rugby at Legends.
Only Impis and Pirates have won the league outside KOBs (12) and Heathens (15), surely, Heathens and KOBs are the country’s most successful clubs.
Due to Covid19 and a busy schedule ahead, the Uganda Rugby Union decided that the league will be played in a one round format – meaning, that you play a team once (not home and away as it has been). After nine games, the top team will be declared champion.
Consequently, Match-day five pits together two of the only remaining sides yet to lose a game, with KOBs edging the top spot by virtue of points difference. Winner at Legends will have put a strong hold on the title, especially Heathens who has already faced Pirates – the other title contender.
“The Preparations have been good, the two weeks break have helped the team, we have worked on some fitness so in short we are ready to go,” said KOBs coach Fred Mudoola.
“Its not a league decider, we have four more games, we are taking each game as it stands and we are going to approach game as it comes.
“Its the greatest rivalry, but not a league decider.”
KOBs have not conceded a try this season, having beaten Rhinos, Warriors, Buffaloes and Rams. This, will be their biggest test to date.
Both sides will miss a couple of players who have been with the Rugby Cranes (national team) at the concluded Emirates Invitational Tourney in Dubai.
The match between KOBs and Heathens is referred to as Lions Cup.
Why Lions Cup?
About 10 years ago, two of Uganda’s former captains Peter Magona (Heathens) and Adrian Bukenya (KOBs) reflected on this great rivalry and noted that it stood for the core values that rugby as a gentleman’s game is steeped in – Respect, Teamwork, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship.
The two former captains thought that these clashes deserved a special incentive, a recognition to spice up the occasion and pay homage to the contributions these two clubs have made to the game of Rugby in Uganda, and to this end a new tradition in Uganda Rugby was born, the Lions Cup.
The principle of the Lions cup is that KOBs and Heathens always play for more than the tournament or competition that they are in at the time. There is a special pride that the winner of the clash has at the end of the game and it was decided that a trophy would be up for grabs whenever the two clubs played a 15-aside game.
The winner of the game is presented with the trophy at the end of that particular game by the losing captain, but the team that keeps the trophy at the end of that particular year is the one that has won more games if an off number of games are player in that year or in a year where two or an even number of games are played then the aggregate score for those games will determine who keeps the trophy that year.
This year will mark 10 years since the cup was first competed for and Heathens will start as holders by virtue of their aggregate win in 2020.
When Did They Last Meet?
The teams did not meet in 2020 but met once in the first round of last season as Heathens won 06-00 at Kyadondo in a floodlights game, then, Aaron Ofoyrwoth scored a penalty in each half.
The last time KOBs and Heathens faced off at Legends, the hosts won 26-21 thanks to Joseph Aredo who contributed 13 points with his boot.
Top Try Scorers:
*Betway KOBs: Pius Ogena 6, Justin Kimono 5.
*Heathens: Jordan Bongomin 4, Santos Senteza 4.
Starting: 1 Odongo Brian, 2 Odugo Faraji, 3 Kimbowa Collins, 4 Aziku Robert, 5 Ecodu Emmanuel, 6 Asaba Brian, 7 Oketayot Byron, 8 Tukwasiibwe Derrick, 9 Ochan Brian, 10 Ijongat James, 11 Odongo James, 12 Kimono Justin, 13 Manano Alhaji, 14 Semwami Daudi, 15 Arinaitwe Karim.
Substitutes: 16 Maina Trevor, 17 Ssekate Paul, 18 Kivumbi Saul, 19 Mpande Arthur, 20 Jurua Aaron, 21 Sseruwagi Edgar, 22 Sempeke Josiah, 23 Mukwaya Raymond.
Starting: 1 Santos Senteza, 2 Alex Mubiru, 3 Emmanuel Byamugisha, 4 Charles Uhuru, 5 Aziz Khan, 6 Patrick Okello, 7 Kato Reynolds, 8 Scott Olwoch, 9 Paul Epillo, 10 Innocent Gwokto, 11 Lawrence Ssebuliba, 12 Gerald Sewankambo, 13 Jordan Bongomin, 14 Claude Otema, 15 Joseph Oyet.
Substitutes: 16 Ronald Kanyanya, 17 Arthur Mukama, 18 Victor Wangobo, 19 Allan Otim, 20 Gideon Kaihura, 21 Trevor Ochan, 22 Kenneth Okong, 23 Faisal Gamma.
Past Winners of the Nile Special Rugby League :
1994: Not held (we will update you why soon)