Solomon Agany Credit: John Batanudde

Buffaloes won the first game of the 2021 Nile Special Stout Rugby Premier League, beating Rams 15-03 at Kyadondo Rugby Grounds on Saturday afternoon.

While this was the first competitive game played since March 2020, there was plenty of good things to report about it. Players from both teams demonstrated a rather surprising level of fitness and endurance despite having only 30 days to prepare for the season.

Solomon Agany Credit: John Batanudde

One of the players that stood out above the rest during this game was Buffaloes’ loose-forward Solomon Agany.

Not only did Agany score one of the two Buffaloes tries in the game but he did it in style. He made a clean break from outside the Rams 22m territory and beat 5 players on his way to scoring the first try of the year.

This wasn’t his first attempt at running roads through the Rams defense. In the first half, Agany had two similar carries in which he beat a combined 5 defenders and broke one tackle. These two were made possible from his deployment when Buffaloes were shaping up to receive a kick.

Knowing Rams would kick the ball when they gain possession in their half, Agany always retreated from the first line of defense. This was so as to combine with fullback Brian Tindikawa and two backs to cover the entire width of the pitch. Additionally, Agany’s pace made it easy for him to slot within the backs and run supporting lines or carry into contact.

Save for a few moments when he got excited and made the wrong decision with ball in hand, Agany was perfect in attack on the day.

On defense, Agany was not the busiest of forwards. He only attempted 10 tackles with an impressive 90% accuracy. He attempted to hit only one ruck in the entire game, which is no surprise given his huge deficiency in weight.

However, Agany’s weight disadvantage was an advantage for Buffaloes at the lineout. During both defense and attack, he was the primary jumper at the front of the set piece. And on a day when none of the hookers could throw a straight ball, Agany managed to steal one ball during the lineout.

If he continues with this form and remains injury-free, Agany could be one of the players that will carry Buffaloes through this season.

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

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