With the top of the table clash between champions and league leaders Kobs against their nemesis Heathens postponed to Saturday 20 December, focus now shifts to the remaining three fixtures on the cards.We share Uganda Rugby Fanzone’s match day six preview.
IMPIS VS SADOLIN MONGERS.
Last place on 4 points hosts 4th place on 15 points. Impis have not disgraced themselves with their performances so far this season save for the league opener against Kobs when they were steamrolled. They have been improving steadily and they put up a very impressive display last week against Mutoni Warriors in a rain soaked pitch at Legends succumbing to a 3-13 loss. Their highlight this season has been the 13-7 upset over high flying Rhinos at their graveyard on week 4.
Mongers have not spared anyone at their ‘House of Pain’ base in Entebbe. The only time they failed to win was the 10 all draw with Heathens on week 4. Mongers however like in the previous seasons have been poor travelers. They have only traveled one game prior to this, being a 13-14 loss suffered at the hands of Rhinos at Legends.
This thus is going to be an interesting battle if the Impis can get all the players in considering they have begun their exams.
Adrian Wasswa and Andrew Olweny have been in lethal form for Mongers with the boot and try scoring respectively and will be expected to lead the Mongers attack. Impis on the other hand will rely on the big ball carrying 8th man, Mike Opio and the flanker turned center in Raymond Kasule.
Expect a big crowd at this game since MUK has been turning out the biggest crowds to date.
PIRATES VS MUTONI WARRIORS
7th placed Pirates on 6 points hosts 5th placed Warriors on 8 points. Pirates have struggled for the second season in a row. They have only won one game being the 12-7 victory over the Buffaloes. They have however had some impressive displays and new coach Anthony Kinene must be hoping that the team comes round and begins winning consistently. The Pirates have mainly relied on their defense to stay in games as witnessed against Heathens, Kobs and Buffaloes but will now be called upon to begin attacking more frequently.
Warriors have blown hot and cold this season. An impressive display against Buffaloes is still their highlight and they managed to close out Impis with a huge defensive effort on week 5. They have the most experienced coach in the league in Herbert Wafula and will call on him to test a side he played for, captain and coached (Pirates).
Warriors will call on the ball carrying skills on Brian Seruyange at blind side flank and also the line-out and game reading skills of new signing Zeno Othieno while Pirates will count on the inspiration of Captain Dan Canowira who has won two back to back Man of the Match accolades. They will also rely on the experience of Denis Etuket who is now playing at outside centre to close out the game for them. We are yet to see if Ivan Magomu and Marvin Odongo who both suffered ankle injuries against Kobs have recovered.
TOYOTA BUFFALOES VS EZEE MONEY RHINOS
5th Placed Buffaloes on 8 points host 3rd placed Rhinos on 18 points. This battle could be the game of the weekend. Rhinos have been the surprise package of the season. They have finally gotten the required fitness levels to win very tight game as seen by their wins over Pirates, Monger and Heathens.
They had an extended pre-season programme and have shred off the tag of the team with fitness problems. Their 6-5 win over Heathens last week was celebrated by many across the globe and they look like a team that is finally coming together. They are using nondescript players but playing very close knit rugby with support for each other.
Buffaloes have suffered because of lack of quality player depth. They lost 3 players to Kenyan side Kabras and then a further 5 players to the National 7s team that did duty at the CAR 7s in Harare on 29th-30th November. They lost 3 games during that period falling to Warriors, Pirates and Kobs. The 7s players are now back and we expect them to make an immediate impact to revive the faltering season of Buffaloes. This team plays a very expansive game and have the skills for it and will expect to move round the huge Rhinos players.
Rhinos will count on the excellent form of Captain Martial Tchumkam to destroy the Buffaloes scrum and contact areas. They also welcome back James Musitwa for national 7s duty and expect him to pull the strings from the back. Buffaloes will look to continue banking on the ball skills of Kevin ‘Keremundu’ Mukasa as flyhalf and also inspiration from the return of their Captain Alfred Bigik from national 7s duty.