Kobs vs Heathens Credit: Twitter | Uganda Rugby Union
  • Nile Special Stout Rugby Premier League – Matchday Five
  • 4pm: Kobs vs Heathens
  • Legends Rugby Grounds, Lugogo

The biggest rivalry in Ugandan rugby will take center stage during matchday five of the Nile Special Stout Rugby Premier League when Kobs host Heathens at Legends Rugby Grounds.

Kobs currently sit atop the table with 20 points while Heathens are close behind with 19. Both teams are still unbeaten going into this match but Kobs are yet to concede a try.

Where could the key battles be fought in this match?

  • The front row: Without a doubt, the scrum will be the key battle during this match. The front row pits 5 players with national team experience. Kobs’ Brian Odongo, Odugo Faraji and Kimbowa Collins will face Heathens’ Santos Senteza and Alex Mubiru. More importantly, the front row replacements will be key late into the match. The hosts have a more potent reserve force in Ssekate Paul and Saul Kivumbi while the visitors appear to be setting up for a long run with their starters.
  • The Lineout: Hookers Alex Mubiru and Faraji Odugo are the most consistent throwers in the country at the moment. The real battle however will be in the air between jumpers Aziku Robert and Charles Uhuru. The two possess the height and skill to disrupt the opposition’s set-piece at the front of the lineout.
  • The midfield: Both teams have gone for unusual midfield pairings due to the unavailability of their national sevens stars. Justin Kimono and Manano Alhaji pair to take on Gerald Sewankambo and Jordan Bongomin. Heathens have been forced to combine Sewankambo and Bongomin for the first time this season with Innocent Gwokto out at flyhalf. The speed of line on defense will be key in keeping the heavy ball carriers Kimono and Sewankambo behind the gain line.

Additionally, how the two teams shape up in their backfield will influence the outcome of this match. Joseph Oyet and Karim Arinaitwe are calm and composed under the high ball but Oyet has more experience under his belt. Both teams’ wings are strong and fast ball carriers which will provide good options to the fullbacks during the counterattack.

Kobs Squad:

  • Starting: 1 Odongo Brian, 2 Odugo Faraji, 3 Kimbowa Collins, 4 Aziku Robert, 5 Ecodu Emmanuel, 6 Asaba Brian, 7 Oketayot Byron, 8 Tukwasiibwe Derrick, 9 Ochan Brian, 10 Ijongat James, 11 Odongo James, 12 Kimono Justin, 13 Manano Alhaji, 14 Semwami Daudi, 15 Arinaitwe Karim.
  • Substitutes: 16 Maina Trevor, 17 Ssekate Paul, 18 Kivumbi Saul, 19 Mpande Arthur, 20 Jurua Aaron, 21 Sseruwagi Edgar, 22 Sempeke Josiah, 23 Mukwaya Raymond.

Heathens Squad:

  • Starting: 1 Santos Senteza, 2 Alex Mubiru, 3 Emmanuel Byamugisha, 4 Charles Uhuru, 5 Aziz Khan, 6 Patrick Okello, 7 Kato Reynolds, 8 Scott Olwoch, 9 Paul Epillo, 10 Innocent Gwokto, 11 Lawrence Ssebuliba, 12 Gerald Sewankambo, 13 Jordan Bongomin, 14 Claude Otema, 15 Joseph Oyet.
  • Substitutes: 16 Ronald Kanyanya, 17 Arthur Mukama, 18 Victor Wangobo, 19 Allan Otim, 20 Gideon Kaihura, 21 Trevor Ochan, 22 Kenneth Okong, 23 Faisal Gamma.

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

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