Sadolin Mongers were the team to beat early in the first half the 2014/2015 Nile Special Uganda Rugby Premiership but after leading the log towards the mid-season break in December, the Entebbe based side was heard no more.

Coach Robert Powell’s men lost 5 consecutive games into the new year before winning their last two to secure a mid table finish on the final day.

How did the club fall from glory to the mediocrity? Kawowo Sport’s Edgar Kazibwe investigates.

In the first week of the rugby Premiership, Mongers started from where they stopped the previous season.

At their dreaded home the side earned a 21-17 win against Toyota Buffaloes. It was a desired start for the side as the crowd at the “house of pain” witnessed a resilient home team.

Mongers headed for their second match still at home. And all the ardent rugby fans and bookmakers around town had the odds against the home team. Mongers shockingly defeated defending champions Kobs, 28-15.

One could probably say the win was a one-off, a “bad day in office” for Kobs, as Powell’s men went on to lose by one point, 14-13 in their next outing, at Legends Rugby Grounds when they visited Ezee Money Rhinos.

However, Heathens were in for it as the runners up of the season-before managed to only salvage a 10-10 draw in Entebbe.

Mongers beat Pirates 26-15 before crashing Impis and Mutoni Warriors in succession to finish their 7 encounters top of the log.

Heathens were yet to face Kobs and when the duo ran out of the dug out at Kyadondo, the 80 minutes elapsed with Heathens 11-10 winners.

Mongers kept second spot into the other half of the season and Coach Robert Powell attributed the success in the first half to hard pre-season training and the addition of essential players.

Among the players that made highlights for the deservedly coach of the first half of the season were Ronald Adigas who “gave the side experience in the front row”, Simon Wakabi, Kalule Loren, Elijah Segawa and Shaun Basega.

Kato Herbert returned from injury after the mid season, “Loren Kalule covered a lot of territory and made tackles all afternoon” and it was only “Adrian Wassawa forgot to bring his kicking boots for the first time” according to Powell.

Mongers lost to Toyota Buffaloes 13-26 that evening. They couldn’t further complete a double over Kobs as the Legend’s grounds based side won the highly anticipated match 22-16.

“Mongers’ big pack of forwards were unable to establish any kind of dominance in the scrum or the line out” said Powell, even though the side had grabbed the lead just before half time. Mongers went on to lose at home for the first time in the season against Coach John Musoke’s Ezee Money Rhinos 15-16.

Rhinos completed a double over Powell’s men with a one point margin in both. Powell told Kawowo Sports they were “not helped by the quality of refereeing from an official who would have been overwhelmed at an U-13 game.”

The Uganda Rugby Union later came out to apologize for the poor quality of referees, pledging improvements ahead. Sadolin Mongers’ fans kept waiting for redemption with four games to go and unfortunately their team continued their losing streak with a 33-05 defeat against Heathens and a 25-11 loss to Pirates both away from home.

Powell conducted some little research on his team and he eventually found a problem. One that could have been the major cause of the team’s disappointing returns in the Premiership.

After 5 consecutive defeats Powell “found there was a significant drop off in the numbers going in to the gym from December, also those who were not putting in effort either on the road / track or swimming pool.”

He intentionally sidelined the players on the bench, bringing in Tumusiime, an U-21 qualified player and Tukesiga Chris (20) at hooker.

Discipline was much tighter with only 3 penalties conceded in their 24-10 win against Impis as handling errors were non existent in the 2nd half.

Mongers came from behind in their season ender at home to overcome Mutoni Warriors 14-12, securing a mid table finish. The side lost only once at home with a draw against Heathens. They won twice in the second half of the season losing grip of the accolades.

Deputy Editor at Kawowo Sports. He is an aspiring Sport Psychologist.

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