Entering match day 4 of the Nile Special Premiership in what appears to be yet another weekend filled with exciting match ups at both halves of the table. Journey with me as i explore some interesting views on the upcoming matches.
At Kyadondo, the Hima cement Heathens host Shell Rimula Rhinos as they hope to quell the mini dip in form before it turns into a fully blown crisis. The defending champions find themselves in an uncharacteristic position following back to back losses from the previous two weekends, they face a high flying Rhinos outfit that have so far collected maximum points from three outings.
A third loss for the men in green who currently sit 6th would see them drop further down the table and could spark panic in their ranks. Heathens remain without influential leader Michael Wokorach and have been dealt another loss with Lawrence Ssebuliba joining the Uganda sevens team in Capetown. Rhinos make the short journey to Kyadondo with confidence boasting a full strength squad led by in form Fly half Jasper Onen “Boskut”.
Legends Rugby club will be unavailable for use this weekend which means the Buffaloes will host Betway Kobs in a case of role reversal. Kobs come into this game having humbled “pitch mates” Warriors 55-20 – they face a Buffaloes side that broke a historic jinx to get their first win over big brothers Heathens. Kobs will be reliant on their industrious forwards to see them claim victory on a ground that is very much unfancied for them. The Blue army have to neutralise the danger that Buffaloes possess in their expansive running game and their ability to create chances from broken unstructured play.
Mongers make their third consecutive away trip as they lock horns with this season’s revelations Black Pirates. However, this match will take place at the Makerere Impis grounds due to inaccessibility of Legends rugby club as earlier mentioned. Pirates will be looking for a third bonus point win of the season in a bid to keep in touching distance of table leaders Kobs and second placed Rhinos. Mongers are having a topsy turvy season with two wins, one at home, one away and one loss on the road from three played. A neutral ground could see them harness the power of upsets. Can they dent the armour of Coach Bobby Musinguzi’s youthful and exciting charges.
The second of the Makerere encounters sees two eternal rivals face up to stake their claim as the “big boys” of the Graveyard. Impis play Rams in what is one of the most thrilling derbies in the league. Rams have walked away with victory in the past two meetings and hope to make it a trio of wins, Impis are riding high from their victory last week against newcomers, Jinja Hippos. Much needed confidence heading into one of those fixtures where they need to collect points. The return of combatant skipper Anthony Musimenta proved inspirational last weekend. Will he work his magic once more?
The Warriors travel to Jinja to take on debutants Hippos, The men in purple have scored 53 points in the last 3 games – more than 5th placed Buffaloes and one short of 4th placed Mongers. There biggest undoing this season however has been their dismal defending. They conceded 55 points against the league leaders Kobs while putting up 20 points of their own. Coach / player Gabriel Aredo will have sleepless nights patching up the holes in his defense especially as they approach fixtures that are a must win if they expect to have any contentions for top of the Table. The team can score but defense wins leagues.
The Hippos have had a baptism of fire in the league so far – squaring up with Heathens and Kobs in their first two games was surely a tall order. After losing out narrowly to Impis last weekend, they will look at this as an opportunity to steal a win on home turf as they need to desperately move out of the relegation zone.
Toyota Buffaloes vs Betway Kobs 2.30pm
Hima Heathens vs Shell Rimula Rhinos 4.30pm
Makerere Rugby grounds
Black Pirates vs Plascon Mongers 2.30pm
Impis vs Rams 4.30pm
Jinja Dam Waters grounds
Jinja Hippos vs Warriors 4.00pm