There couldn't be a better way to start 2017 than a clash between the two most successful rugby outfits in the nation's history, Hima Heathens taking on Betway Kobs in the Nile Special Premiership.
This fixture always determines where the title will go. And this evening at Kyadondo Rugby grounds, that script will be rewritten as the two heavy weights battle it out, writes FELIX EUPAL.
Heathens promotional artwork for this duel is amazing. It just makes any Rugby fan want to cancel all their plans for Friday evening in anticipation for the clash.
It has former captain Alex Mubiru and prop Asuman Mugerwa shirt- less competing in a push-up contest. The background is rusty with the words,
“Endurance Built for The Hunt”, “It’s game time”.
Then below them is the venue and time of the game. The intensity and seriousness on the faces of Mubiru and Mugerwa just tell one that it will be a game of big hits and jaw-dropping moments.
Heathens, under the tutorship of head coach Mohammad Athiyo, have started the season cruising and comfortably sit on top of the table with 33 points, five ahead of second-placed Kobs who have 28.
The team from Kyadondo Rugby grounds has only missed out on two bonus points against Rhinos and Buffaloes and will be looking at ensuring that they can collect their sixth bonus point this evening to take them away from just being in the driving seat to now having the title to lose.
It is something that they are not willing to give away, seeing by how they have been preparing. Heathens skipper Michael Wokorach says: “Instead of the break, we decided that we should remain working so that we can get back what is ours”. By ‘what is ours’, Wokorach means the league title which they have won 11 times compared to Kobs’ 13.
He adds, “During the festive period, the players showed a lot of morale still turning up to train and even putting in a lot on personal practice.”
Heathens missed out on the league last year and National Sevens circuit to Kobs and are itching to have that script rewritten. The defending champions,Kobs, find themselves in a situation of a do or die.
Former club legend Edmond Tumusiime was brought in as head coach to restore sanity and, like they say, it is a situation of ‘so far so good’.
His first three games in charge; Impis, Mutoni Warriors and Black Pirates have all ended with him on the victorious end. And this evening will be his ultimate test thus far as head coach coming up against his archrivals that he knows so well.
A win for Tumusiime at Kyadondo against Heathens in his first attempt as coach will leave the writing on the wall; a loss will punch holes in Kobs administration for the choice they made.
Kobs have missed out on a three crucial bonus points against; Rimula Rhinos, Mongers and Pirates. Failure to secure one at Kyadondo or even losing will have them in a hole rather too deep for them to crawl out.