Pirates host the impressive Jinja Hippos in what is the early kick off of the weekend with a duel between two free running sides at King’s Park on Friday. The authorities had this fixture planned out to be played early when Pirates was still in use of the Legends rugby club facility – with change in grounds, Pirates had the option to push the game to Saturday only for the Hippos to insist on Friday, siting logistical bookings that had already been made.
The Robert Sseguya imprint continues to show its mark on the Jinja based side who have been arguably the sensation of the 2nd round. Their match with the Warriors last weekend saw them almost get the comeback only to fall short at 24-25 having crawled back from 13-22 at half time.
The Kings park visit will be the sternest test they face in the 2nd round so far, having dispatched Rhinos, Mongers and pushing Heathens and Warriors to the wall, it will be interesting to see how the cards play out when they are hosted by the Sea Robbers in Bweyogerere later today.
Pirates come into this game with an immensely slim title chance that probably requires a lot of calculus depending on how Kobs and Heathens perform, long story cut short; fate is no longer in their hands. Nonetheless, they have a big say in who will have the advantage to take the trophy when they lock horns with Kobs at Legends next weekend.
For this weekend, coach Bobby Musinguzi will be well aware that the Hippos are no push over if previous results are anything to go by. The two teams play a similar kind of expansive running rugby but what often lacked on the Hippos end was that extra edge added by the power and physicality of the big forwards coupled by a structure to guide the way they play.
In Robert Sseguya as their tactician, they now have that – a ferocious set of forwards with attention to detail at the set piece and a game plan that is clearly working wonders for the Dam Waters side. It faces the ultimate test against a Pirates team that plays without any pressure at this stage and are eager to impress their fans and the national selectors which makes them a very dangerous side to play. The Pirates’ results from recent weeks have a trend and this will definitely be another bonus point win they hope to get despite the Hippos having something to say about that as they push themselves further in search of the Mongers (6th) on the league table and further away from the Rhinos who sit in 8th.
Stanbic Pirates vs Jinja Hippos
Kings Park Arena – 4:30pm