Pirates With A Statement. by Ssemujju Lewis Elmer

Quite early in the season to count the chicks when they’re still eggshell shut, but the Black Pirates have sent a measage to any one doubting their credentials for the title by beating the defending champions 23-16 in a nerve wrecking encounter at Kampala Rugby Club (Legends) on Saturday afternoon.

Having beaten the Hima Cement Heathens less than a month ago in the Uganda Cup Final, Buzz sponsored Black Pirates went into this game riding on the high horse and kicked off in spectacular fashion with Ivan Magomu kicking off, Alex Mubiru receiving for the Heathens, passing to Chris Lubanga whose attempted kick was charged down on, and China capitalized on the sloppy Heathens defence to score the game’s first try in under a minute. In the absence of Joel Anguyo, Conrad Wanyama stepped up and calmly added the extras. This incident woke up the visitors who pushed the hosts but had nothing solid to show for their territory. The first 40 minutes culminated with Pirates leading 10-03.

A Heathens side, as organized as a jumbled story, came into the second half with similar tactics as those from the first, traded a penalty each with Pirates, before outside center Haruna Mohammed made a highway past veteran Allan Otim to score his side’s second try, which Conrad Wanyama converted to extend their lead to 20-06. Heathens looked hapless at this moment til the introduction of Gama and withdrawal of Lubanga, that inspired a fresh and focussed attacking procedure. This approach awarded the Heathens with two tries which they failed to convert.

Heathens were still going for blood hoping for a Cinderella ending but Conrad Wanyama had other ideas, slotting in a penalty to extend Pirates lead to 23-16. A draw looked to be on the cards with Heathens pressing but the home fans stood in tandem with the lads on the pitch and they were able to keep out Heathens and earn their second win of the season.

It’s early in the season but a win against the defending Champions is a statement not about to be ignored. They’re setting themselves apart and ahead of the other teams and we can only wait on the rest of the games as the season rolls out.

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