Credit: Don Mugabi

Uganda Cup Men’s Semifinals:

Shield:

  • 2 p.m.: Warriors vs Mbarara Titans – Legends Rugby Grounds
  • 2 p.m.: Impis vs Stallions – King’s Park Stadium

Cup:

  • 4 p.m.: Kobs vs Heathens – Legends Rugby Grounds
  • 4 p.m.: Rhinos vs Pirates – King’s Park Stadium

Defending champions Kobs will take on Heathens at their home turf, Legends Rugby Grounds, in a repeat of the 2019 Uganda Cup Final.

While this is a mouthwatering clash in its own right, rugby folk have been more interested in understanding why the rest of the matches will be played at the venues as shown above.

Uganda Rugby Union’s Chief Technical Officer Ramsey Olinga said to Kawowo Sports that the hosting rights for the Uganda Cup are awarded to facilities and not teams, regardless of who is playing in the respective matches.

“Normally, every year of the Uganda Cup since the beginning in 1999, we have held the semis and finals in one venue. The hosting is given to the facility and not the teams,” Olinga said.

The first two editions in 1999 and 2000, both won by Heathens, were hosted in Jinja and the most recent in 2019, won by Kobs, was hosted at King’s Park in Bweyogerere.

Olinga added that since most of the grounds had had a lion’s share of hosting events in the 2022 calendar year, URU opted to host the Uganda Cup at a “new” venue.

Thus, the Uganda Cup semifinals – both shield and cup – will be played at Legends and King’s Park with each venue hosting one shield and cup semifinal apiece. And the final will be hosted in Entebbe.

“For this year, the semis, we opted to have them played at Legends and Kings Park because we have basically gone around the facilities. We had the women’s tournament (Rugby Africa Women’s Cup) in Wankulukuku and we shall have the final in Entebbe. Kyadondo already hosted the (Rugby) Africa Men’s Sevens, so we chose to give it to venues that have not had much activity this year,” Ramsey revealed.

Similar to 2019 when Pirates hosted a final in which they were not playing, Mongers will host the 2022 Uganda Cup at the Busambaga Rugby Grounds in Entebbe on December 17.

The home team in the respective matches is chosen using the points average from the previous round.

“In terms of who’s (the) home team, once we had already assigned teams the venues then we looked at the points average. And Kobs had the better points average than Heathens so Kobs is the home team but not the host team,” Ramsey clarified.

Kobs and Rhinos, by having a better points average than Heathens and Pirates respectively, will be the home teams in the Cup semifinals.

It is only by coincidence that Kobs – and Warriors in the shield semifinal – will play at their home ground. In contrast, Pirates will be the away team at their own home, King’s Park. And on the other hand, Impis and Stallions will play the other shield semifinal at a neutral venue, King’s Park.

Uganda Cup Women’s Semifinals:

  • 4 p.m.: Thunderbirds vs Lira Matrix – Kyadondo Rugby Club
  • 4 p.m.: Lira Strikers vs Avengers – Lira College Grounds

The women’s Cup will resume after a weekend off. Thunderbirds, who are the only team that played in the quarterfinals as others sailed through with walkovers, will host Lira Matrix at Kyadondo. In the other semifinal, Avengers will travel to Lira College to face Lira Strikers.

Ernest Akorebirungi is Uganda's top rugby writer and commentator with experience in local tournaments like the national XVs competitions and sevens series. He has also reported at international tournaments...

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