After a couple of weeks since the nail-biting Uganda Cup final, the biggest clubs the country, Hima Cement Heathens and Betway Kobs, will be back at it.
Heathens host Kobs as curtains rise on the 2019-20 Nile Special Stout Premiership on Friday night at Kyadondo Rugby Club.
This will be the first floodlit 15s game and it doesn’t get any better than eternal rivals as they come into the game with a lingering interest of winning one of the two fixtures that, more often than not, determine the champion.
“It’s the biggest game in the league and we are looking forward to coming and start the season on a high and have an upper hand to defend the trophy,” Heathens captain Michael Wokorach said ahead of the game.
Despite being dominant at the scrum against their familiar foes at King’sPark a fortnight ago, the defending champions could not hold their own deep into the cup final which they lost through a last-minute try and conversion.
For Wokorach, that is water under the bridge but it fired up the team ahead of the encounter for which any win will do.
“The team is more fired up. We lost the Uganda Cup narrowly and it’s something the players did not take lightly.
“We have been in taring for two weeks, we have managed to polish a lot and everyone is looking good,” said the experienced centre.
Heathens Team News
Mohammed Athio, the man in charge of Heathens, has made several changes to the side that played in the cup final especially at the back with just one change in the forwards.
Cox Muhigwa will start on the blindside while Nicholas Kato will start at scrum-half. Kevin Kerumundu joins Kenneth Okong and Joseph Oyet to complete the back three while Innocent Gokto joins Gerald Ssewankambo in the midfield.
Kobs Team News
Kobs have not seen league success since the 2015-16 season and Joseph Aredo feels it’s about time.
“Our target has been to win the league, it has been a while since we won,” said the utility back.
Falling out of contention for the league title is not complicated for the top two sides as a defeat surrenders the chances to your rival and Aredo is well aware of what the season opener means.
“For this particular game, we want to start well and the guys are ready.”
Former player, Davis Kyewalabye, who started his reign with Uganda Cup success has made three changes to his starting line-up.
Adnan Mutebi is back at Tighthead prop, Alhaji Manano will start at the blindside while Daniel Ortega starts at fullback ahead of Adrian Kasito.
The halfback pairing of Ivan Kirabo and Joseph Aredo is maintained and so is the midfield partnership of Justin Kimono and Ian Munyani.
Heathens: Santos Senteza 2. Ronald Kanyanya 3. Joshua Oketcho 4. Charles Uhuru 5. Mike Otto 6. Cox Muhigwa 7. Simon Olet 8. Scott Oluoch 9. Nicholas Kato 10. Aaron Ofoyrwoth 11. Kevin Kerumundu 12. Gerald Ssewankambo 13. Innocent Gwokto 14. Kenneth Okong 15. Joseph Oyet
Kobs: 1. Wilobo Mukili 2. Faragi Odugo 3. Adnan Mutebi 4. Robert Aziku 5. Emmanuel Ecodu 6. Alhaji Manano 7. Brian Asaba (C) 8. Pius Ogena 9. Ivan Kirabo 10.Joseph Aredo 11. Daudi Semwami 12. Justin Kimono 13. Ian Munyani 14. Conrad Mukwaya 15. Daniel Ortega
- Center Referee: Saudah Adiru
- Assistant Referee: Wutimber/Anguyo
- In Goal: Kiseka/Gonzaga