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Preview : Match Day 5 in the Rugby premiership. By Ssemujju Lewis Elmer

It’s been an emotionally tumultuous week for the Uganda Rugby fraternity with the loss of Coach Jim, but what better way to celebrate the man that graduated Uganda to World Rugby rankings (IRB by then) than play the game he so truly loved.

Warriors are coming off a victorious trip in Jinja to host a stubborn Makerere Impis side in the first game of the week. Before last weekend, Warriors had suffered three losses on the trot but after Jinja, they look to carry that momentum and turn it all around. Makerere Impis will face Warriors in high spirits having just seen off local rivals Rams, in the Makerere derby. Kihumuro Reuben and Gabriel Aredo masterminded the dismantling of Hippos and their team will undoubtedly clutch on these straws to help them sail past Impis. The latter aren’t easy prey in their own right, boasting of the most accurate and decisive goalkicking in the league. With semester exams more or less behind them, the Impis lads are raring to go, and salvage something going into the Festive season break.

At Kampala Rugby Club (Legends), we have an old school derby on our plates and it doesn’t come at a better time; the Betway Kobs play Shell Rimula Rhinos. The two teams are the season’s highest flyers so far with Kobs lying in first place, and Rhinos in second. Rhinos are the latest team to bite into the hapless Hima Cement Heathens and left Kyadondo with a win last weekend while their opponents, Kobs, made easy work of Buffaloes to register another bonus point win. The oil money Dons will need the pint sized Kevin Makmot who orchestrated the victory over Heathens to show up for this huge clash too if they are to stand a chance against the table leaders. It will be an especially awkward game for Micheal Amolo who returns to play against his former employers. Notably, Amolo scored the try that assured Rhinos of the victory against Heathens. Also, the return of mean machine, Martial Tchumkam is very timely and Rhinos aim to take care of all business with the big boys early. Kobs have welcomed Justin Kimono this season and he’s already scoring like he never left. Kobs will further be welcoming back Adrian Kasiito, Manano and the old guard Timothy Mudoola from their exploits on the HSBC World Series stage.

With the streak no one loves to be associated to – the losing streak, Hima Cement Heathens visit Rams this weekend. After winning on opening day against Hippos, the defending champions have lost three consecutive games to Pirates, Buffaloes and Rhinos in that order. Everything is clearly not right in the cementers house. Using an unsanctioned brand of cement perhaps? Heathens will be with Micheal Wokorach and Lawrence Ssebuliba who were away with the Uganda 7s contingent for HSBC Series in Dubai and Capetown. Rams lost to local Impis most recently by a penalty score and will look to mainstay assets, Lumu and Kibirige to be the fourth team to pluck a limb off the dilapidated Heathens.

Rugby returns to the House Of Pain this weekend as the Plascon Mongers host bottom placed Jinja Hippos. The Hippos are yet to register a single win and travel to a ground where it is easier to squeeze water out of a stone. Mongers had their fair share of drama when referee Anguyo awarded a walkover against them for protesting match administration, only for the union to overturn the decision in their favor. They go into this fixture with fresh legs of two weeks having not played last weekend.

At Kyadondo, Toyota Buffaloes will play host to fan favorite Black Pirates on Saturday. Off beating Heathens for the first time ever, Buffaloes were humbled by 2016 Champions Betway Kobs, and they’ll need the fight they had against Heathens if they are to stand a chance against the free flowing Pirates. It is still unknown for how long skipper Uhuru will be out but in his absence, Buffaloes look to Masendi and Allan Omoding to hurt the Kampala Rugby Club Side. Pirates are distraught. The game’s administration made a mockery of them as regards a walkover overturned against them and they’ll be aiming to assure their fans and doubters alike that they mean business. The reigning Uganda Cup Champions go to Kyadondo fresh and raring to go, to put Buffaloes in their place. Pirates faithful will look to playmakers Ivan Magomu, Timothy Kisiga and Massa to hurt Buffaloes, of course with Musa Muwonge and Tusiime “China” lurking on from the pack. It is also unclear if Desire Ayera has recovered in time from an injury he sustained while on National Duty in Dubai.

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