Matchday One of the 2019-20 Nile Special Stout Uganda Rugby Premier League was characterised by low scoring games as the teams battled for top spot in the opening weekend.
No try was scored in the first match of the new season as defending champions Hima Cement Heathens overcame a tough challenge from Betway Kobs at Kyadondo Rugby Club. The historic floodlights match, first of its kind in Uganda XV Rugby, ended 06-00 at full time. Man of the match Aaron Ofoyrwoth scored all the points from two penalties.
At Kings Park Stadium, Bweyogerere, Warriors gave Makerere Impis a tough welcome back into top-flight rugby. Legends based Warriors led from kick-off throughout the match to bag a 17-10 win in the early kick off. Richard Kinyai and Spencer Muhiire each touched down for Warriors and Impis in the match, but it was points off Owen Kinyera’s boot early in the first half that guaranteed Warriors the win.
There was a long medical break in the first half that paused this match for up to 15 minutes. Two of Makerere Impis’ players in critical condition after two separate unfortunate incidents in contact. Second row forward Edward Eriyaku suffered a hit in the ribs while outside center Henry Nsekuye suffered a concussion.
In the other match at Kings Park, home team Black Pirates were unable to breach the Rimula Rhinos defense, but got the win nonetheless through four successful penalty kicks for points. New signing Stephen Alul split the uprights thrice while William Nkore converted the other.
Toyota Buffaloes were the only home side to lose in matchday one. Plascon Mongers visiting from Entebbe subjecting them to a 12-22 loss at Kyadondo Rugby Club. A relentless attack in the closing moments of the game was not enough for the Buffaloes to earn a losing bonus in the match after Adrian Wasswa’s penalty for Mongers had put it out of reach of them.
The only match played out of the city saw Jinja Hippos begin their campaign with a 10-06 victory over MRI Rams at the Dam Waters Rugby Club in Jinja. Rams, however, collecting a consolation losing bonus point from the match.
MATCHDAY ONE RESULTS
- Hima Cement Heathens 06-00 Betway Kobs
- Warriors 17-10 Makerere Impis
- Stanbic Black Pirates 12-00 Rimula Rhinos
- Toyota Buffaloes 12-22 Plascon Entebbe Mongers
- Jinja Hippos 10-16 MRI Rams