Pius Ogena | Credit: Philip Kairu for KOBS Rugby Club
  • Nile Special Rugby Premier League – Matchday One
  • Result: Kobs 76-00 Walukuba Barbarians

It was always going to be a one-sided match. Kobs Rugby Club has won more titles (14) than Walukuba Barbarians have won matches in the top flight (1). They met in the lone kickoff at a quieter-than-usual Legends Rugby Grounds on the opening afternoon of the 2023 Nile Special Rugby Premier League.

Despite a slow start to the match, Kobs easily touched down four times in the first half to lead 24-00 at half-time. Tries were scored by Daudi Semwami, Pius Ogena and Karim Arinaitwe bagged his brace.

Then the floodgates opened after the break. Derrick Tukwasiibwe, Adrian Kasito, Ian Munyani, Joseph Aredo, Justin Kimono, Ogena and Jude Jjuuko added their names to the scoresheet for Kobs.

A penalty try that resulted in a player being sent to the bin after a cynical play in his own try area denied Kasito his brace was also awarded.

By full-time, Kobs had washed Walukuba, 76-00, to register the highest margin of the weekend.

Aredo was named Man Of The Match, beating strong competition from teammates Jjuuko, Simon Makumbi, and youngster Humphrey Olaunah to win the UGX 100,000 cash prize.

“Kudos to the boys especially Jude Jjuuko. He really did well, he had his lineouts in check. Aredo, I mean, he is an experienced player; got us the points when we needed them and controlled the game when he was at (number) ten. Kudos also to Olaunah and Makumbi. Olaunah is a young boy coming into the system and I’m very happy for him for doing well. I hope they can all carry the same attitude into the next games,” Kobs captain Ian Munyani said during the post-match interview.

The true test of a team’s strength is realised against a strong opponent. For large segments of the match against Walukuba, Kobs seemed to be running against their own development team Boks. Walukuba barely kept possession for more than a minute and spent most of the match defending inside their 22-metre territory.

However, they aced the restarts with flyhalf Bob Kawanda kicking well and his forwards winning the aerial ball contest repeatedly. Also, their lineouts were impressive with hooker Edward Emiemu hitting the target at the front and back of the set piece.

“Some of us are new players in this but it’s always a big event for everyone. Although today we had a disappointment, I’m sure (the) next time we come back we are going to be stronger,” Walukuba captain Ivan Bulima said after the match.

Kobs thus lead the standings ahead of Buffaloes, both having earned the bonus point from their respective matches.

Full Matchday One Results

  • Stanbic Black Pirates 24-18 Platinum Credit Heathens
  • Kobs 76-00 Walukuba Barbarians
  • Jinja Hippos 22-25 Impis
  • Toyota Buffaloes 40-12 Rhinos
  • Plascon Mongers 11-09 Rams

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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