By Ali Mutanje
The Uganda Rugby season of 2021 is halfway through. The league kicked off on 6th March and will end on 1st May 2021 in a single round robin format and with just four games left to play, things are shaping up for a grand finale to the climax. Teams in the top half of the table will treat every game like a final. We take a look at the teams in order of their position on the table and how they have fared. Where does your team fall and how has it performed so far?
Kampala Old Boys have played five games and won five. They have 24 points, three more than the team in second.
They possess a very disciplined side with the team yet to see a player sent to the bin for indiscipline or game infringement.
The team boasts the sharpest and strongest attack with 199 in four games. Additionally they possess the meanest defense in the league. They had not conceded a single try in four games until Heathen’s Gerald Ssewankambo breached their defense in game week 5 to score a try against Kobs for the first they’ve conceded this season.
Pius Ogena was the top try scorer before he departed for national duty with six tries, he heavily contributed to their position at the top.
KOBs’ win over rivals Heathens in game week 5 strengthened their position at the top. However, they have stronger tests to come against some of the other teams. So far so good as they await tests from Pirates, Hippos and Mongers.
Pirates had a hard start to the season with a match against defending champions Heathens which they lost. They picked themselves up and won their following four games to lift them to second with 21 points and 5 bonus points.
Pirates are a side that keeps growing in strength as the season goes on. Their strength is not particularly based on any star player with games won as a result of team effort and tries coming in from all over the field. Ivan Magomu, Stephen Ali,, Ivan Kabagambe have all been instrumental in the rise and rise of the club to the second position on the table. They won their last game against Rhinos with a score of 61 after a win over Warriors of 9:31. They went into the game looking for a bonus point that would steer them up the table if Heathens lost and they got it. They have faced only one of the so called strong sides in the league and their position in second is not guaranteed with games coming up against fellow big boys Hippos and Kobs. They face Kobs on the final game day in what can be a title decider.
Jinja based club Hippos have been formidable at Dam waters with three wins in three at home. They have however struggled away from home surprisingly lost to the Buffaloes in their only loss of the season so far. They have a stable squad with one of the most consistent lineups boasting new signings who have become stalwarts of the team. They currently lie third on the log with 20 points and 4 bonus points.
Maxwell Ebonga is arguably the star man. He is their main man for tries and kicks. Currently leading the try scorers chart of the league.
He also won last month’s Rugby Player of the Month (March) in the Real Star Sports Awards and he’s on form with six penalties and 14 conversions of the season so far making him the league’s best kicker on 37.
Jinja Hippos are in good form and they have a squad capable of winning the championship. Their form away from Dam waters could be their undoing in the title chase and their next fixture line up is a hard one where they face table toppers KOBs and are yet to play Heathens and Pirates.
Look out for perspectives into Heathens and Mongers in volume II of this comprehensive analysis of the league tomorrow as we build up to game week 6.