Main Cup final
Heathens 13-10 Kobs
UCU 00-05 Rams
Heathens’ Phillip Wokorach returned from a long injury spell to inspire his club to their 10th Uganda Cup title after dominating rivals Kobs to hand departing coach Brian Tabaruka a memorable send off.
Heathens’ 2 tries came from Alex Mubiru and Phillip Wokorach, who later kicked through a penalty to boost Heathens with a slight edge over Kobs in the final minutes of the match.
Kobs squandered precious opportunities, failing to seal off the game after James Ijiongat’s try, penalty and conversion that had earned them a 5 points gap clear of Tabaruka’s men.
Both sides were all over each other in the opening 15 minutes and the deadlock was broken when Alex Mubiru touched past the try line off a strong maul in Kobs 22 metres.
Pedigree seemed to play out advantage for Heathens too but the men clad in green jerseys were left to rue missed conversions as Chris Opa kicked wide of the sticks their first, on a muddy pitch.
Kobs lived up to the billing with responses, James Ijiongat closing down the points gap with a penalty thanks to the defending champions’ errors in their own half.
Handling mistakes blighted both outfits’ chances throughout and every drop received yells of disappointment, as the emotional fans kept on the edge of their seats.
Heathens, having made the finals by defeating Pirates, led 05-03 at the break and woke up to a shock in the first minute of the second term.
Unstoppable Ijiongat was offloaded to before diving for the grasses beyond the white chalk. It was Kobs’ first try of the evening and it meant the team were three points clear.
James even went further to ice his brilliance with a great conversion extending the scores to 05-10.
The previous Uganda Cup’s script seemed to have been revisited after Phillip Wokorach returned from a long spell of no action following a fracture he sustained on stint in the U.K.
Allan Otim whose impact had not been felt since first half came off for the tag rugby star and just 30 seconds after restart, the substitution brought returns leaving the fans amazed.
Wokorach’s sprint towards the left wing to beat his man with a waist-twisting sidestep and a final race to touch next to the corner flag was all Heathens needed to awaken their hopes of a third successive Uganda Cup trophy.
Opa failed to convert as the game remained locked at 10-10 for a pretty long time. James Ijiongat had the chance to help Kobs clinch the title with a few minutes left but failed to slot the ball through off the waterlogged ground.
Wokorach then capitalized on Heathens last kick to hand them a 13-10 lead as game neared the very last minute. Kobs camped in their opponents half seeking a late try but only broke down en route the try line at the sound of the whistle.
It was yet another match referee Charles Onen Chan officiated to the satisfaction of the fans following controversy that marred the Heathens – Pirates semi final, one that got Richard Akena suspended by the Uganda Rugby Union.
Earlier, fast improving Rams defeated Uganda Christian University (UCU) 5-0 to claim the Shield Cup.
Uganda Cup Facts
Heathens have now emerged winners of the Uganda Cup three times in a row since 2013.
Phillip Wokorach’s final kicks have won Heathens’ their last two trophies all against rivals Kobs.
Kobs last won the Uganda Cup final in 2012.