The stage is set for the Uganda Cup rugby semi-finals tomorrow. Defending champions, Heathens face Buffaloes while Kobs take on Pirates, in what are expected to be tough semi-finals at Kyadondo rugby grounds.
However, going into the semi-finals, Pirates look heads and shoulders above the competition, and this cup is theirs to lose.
For starters, Pirates face a Kobs team, that is weakened, after the departure of Joseph Aredo and Ramathan Govule recently. While they welcome back the central pairing of Stone Luggya and Augustine Kasansula, the two will require great improvement on the day if Kobs is to prosper.
It goes without saying, that Pirates play a fast -paced game, an attribute ‘sea thieves’, as Pirates are literally known, have anyway. Kobs’ back row that features Adnan Mutebi and Brian Asaba will have a big job to do, stopping the fast half back combination of Davis Kiwalabye and James Ijongat.
High tempo is the only language Pirates speak with their youthful side striking from all ends of the field. Musa Muwonge and Desire Ayera form a formidable and mobile back row while Conrad Wanyama and Ivan Magomu complement each other greatly at half back, and tear up defences with crisp passing and movement.
In addition, the experience of Denis Etuket adds sting to the explosive Pirates back line that features youngsters Raymond Emanzi, Isaac Massa and Harunah Muhammad. Pirates prop Alema Ruhweza said, “Kobs is a very experienced side and tough to be underestimated.”
Yet, Ruhweza’s team-mate Musa Muwonge thinks Kobs are a much lighter team. Kobs are light if Brian Odongo in the front row does not play.
And with the brilliance of Adrian Kasiito, Kobs can only be written off at Pirates’ peril. And it has been suggested that Pirates can only be their greatest enemies if they take things for granted.
Last year, Pirates beat Kobs 27-22 to progress to the final. Therefore, history will favour Pirates. But Kobs utility player Al-Hajji Manano remains confident they will make the final.
Meanwhile, defending champions Heathens continue without their prop Asuman Mugerwa and the recent departure of Aaron Ofoyirwoth.
They joined Phillip Wokorach in cutting on Heathens’ powers. Yet, with Eric Kasiita, the national rugby sevens captain in flow, added to Kevin Keremundu and Pius Ogena, Buffaloes are up for it to take out Heathens.
UGANDA CUP FIXTURES
Kobs v Pirates
Heathens v Buffaloes