The unsettling pattern of Kobs’ frailties this season was continued at Legends, where the 12-time premiership champions were taught a lesson in precision and wit by Black Pirates.
Kobs went into the Liberation Day encounter in search of a win to cement their place at the top but the last minute try by Aaron Jurua was a mere consolation as they were brutally battered.
Kobs’ interest in this game was so much. For a side of their class and quality that had suffered defeat to an out of colour Heathens, another loss would be absurd but they played as if they did not know it.
Ball handling errors in their own half resulted into early scrums – in which Kobs were devastatingly loose – and it was not long before they were punished.
It all started with Conrad Wanyama picking the ball from the scrum, passed to Muhammad Haruna who took several quick strides through the middle before threading a pass to skipper Ivan Magomu on his left and using his ingenuity, the fly-half took a couple of steps and kicked over Kobs’ backline. With his blistering pace, Raymond Emanzi collected the ball after a single bounce and powerfully touched down. Joel Anguyo made no mistake with his foot for the extras and Sea Robbers were up 07-00 inside five minutes.
James Ijongant reduced the deficit with a penalty but after that, Kobs were hanging by a thread and the tie would have been done in the opening forty minutes. Anguyo and Wanyama went for points but their penalties went wide while the ball slipped out of Tomothy Kisiga’s hands with the full back clear for a would be Pirates second try.
As Kobs were labouring under something of an injury crisis and poor decision making, Pirates were silently getting out of reach. Anguyo’s back-to-back penalties gave the ‘underdogs’ of the match a 13-03 advantage.
Ijongat cut the deficit to 7 points but Anguyo restored the 10 points advantage heading into halftime.
After the break, Pirates continued to dominate the set pieces especially the scrums. Man of the match Wanyama stole the ball near the half offloaded to Magomu who forced his way over the line and Anguyo converted.
Out of sheer frustration, Adrian Kasiito made a dangerous tackle on Magomu that went unnoticed by the referee and Pirates’ captain could not continue but Emanzi did – making Pirates last try.
Kobs put pressure on the Sea Robbers solid backline and finally got the consolation try courtesy of Aaron Jurua.
The win elevated Pirates to the top of the table with 37 points, two ahead of their rivals and second-placed Kobs.