The 2019 Nile Special Stout Uganda Rugby Premier League kicked off in style at Kyadondo Rugby Club with defending champions Hima Heathens claiming the victory by 06-00 against rivals Betway Kobs.

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The match played under floodlights was the first of its kind in the history of 15s rugby in Uganda.

Heathens took the lead in the 13th minute after Aaron Ofoyrwoth split the uprights from the penalty 22m away from the Kobs try area. Kobs being penalized for illegal scrummaging.

The wet and soggy conditions of the Kyadondo surface following a heavy downpour earlier in the day influenced both teams’ style of play. Both fly-halfs Joseph Aredo and Aaron Ofoyrwoth utilizing their boots for territory and touch.

The forwards were the busier department of the day with scrummages set up after knock forwards. The backline, on the other hand, were clinical with limited possession in the midfield.

Heathens got an advantage at the half-hour mark after Kobs front-row Adnan Mutebi was sent to the bin for foul play. However, this advantage did not mature into points as the Kobs defended their try area relentlessly.

The record champions took a slim 03-00 lead into the break after the first half that was characterized by more kicking and set pieces in line outs and scrummages.

In the second half, the Kobs backline were more lethal with line breaks and carries. Unfortunately, the speedsters could not find the whitewash as the Heathens backrow made try saving tackles deep in their territory.

There was a close moment in Heathens attack as substitute flyhalf James Ijongat grounded the ball inside his try area to deny Aaron Ofoyrwoth who was making a dash for the charge down. The Kobs defense was strong to turn over possession of the ball from the subsequent scrummage on their own 5m line.

Heathens extended their lead late in the match to 06-00 with under 10 minutes to play. Aaron Ofoyrwoth kicking for points from a penalty about 40m away from the try area.

Kobs attacked relentlessly attempting a repeat of the Uganda Cup finale, but it was not meant to be as a knock forward from a pick-and-drive in the last play of the match meant that Heathens were victors on the historic night.

Aaron Ofoyrwoth was selected as Man Of The Match for inspiring the Heathens to victory with two penalties.

Heathens thus spend Friday night at the top of the Nile Special Stout Uganda Rugby Premier League with 4 points, while the Kobs walk away with a losing bonus point.

Match day one continues on Saturday, November 30 across different venues in Kampala and Jinja.

RESULT: Heathens 06-00 Kobs
Aaron Ofoyrwoth (Penalty x2)

Kings Park Stadium, Bweyogerere:
2pm Warriors vs Makerere Impis
4pm Rimula Rhinos vs Black Pirates

Kyadondo Rugby Club:
4pm Toyota Buffaloes vs Plascon Mongers

Dam Waters Rugby Club, Jinja
4pm Jinja Hippos vs MRI Rams

Ernest Akorebirungi is an amateur rugby player and a keen follower of local Ugandan rugby.

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