Ian Munyani tackled by Aziz Khan as Joseph Oyet, Paul Epilo and Michael Wokorach close in | Credit: John Batanudde

RESULT: Heathens 07-06 Kobs

Although Kobs captain Joseph Aredo and head coach Davis Kyewalabye chose to not comment about the controversial refereeing decisions that handed Heathens a 07-06 Lions Cup win at Kyadondo, there was no shortage of debate and protest among their fans.

Kobs took a 03-00 lead into the break courtesy of a Joseph Aredo penalty on a day when all the three Heathens’ kicking options struggled to find their bearings.

After the break, Heathens’ Innocent Gwokto scored the only try of the match to make it 05-03 but it is the subsequent conversion kick by Aaron Ofoywroth that has got everyone talking.

Ofoywroth’s attempt appeared to have sailed just over the right upright which left the two Assistant Referees Gonzaga Mayanja and Sauda Adiru split in making the decision to raise the flag. While Mayanja felt the attempt was not successful, Adiru was satisfied and raised her flag as her colleague ran back to the touchline.

A furious Kobs technical bench had to be asked by the match officials to remain calm and return to their seats for the match to continue.

The match was, as expected, characterized by fierce battles among the forwards especially on the scrummage setpiece with both packs getting the better of their opponents.

Kobs’ chances appeared to have diminished when captain Joseph Aredo limped off with an ankle injury but his replacement Josiah Ssempeke nearly won the game for the current league holders.

His first attempt off the tee was an impressive hit in the 61st minute from 40m away that made it a one-point game. In the last play of the match, he made a brave call for the tee from behind the halfway line but his effort was short.

And Heathens could begin their celebrations as winners of the first leg of the 2022 Lions Cup.

Current table standings

The win ensures Heathens remain unbeaten with 9 points but they drop to second place behind Black Pirates who have bagged their second bonus-point victory.

Kobs collected the consolation losing bonus point as they fall to fourth place on 6 points below Mongers but ahead of Jinja Hippos.

Bottom-of-the-table Warriors are the only team yet to earn a point this season.

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

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