After the Uganda Cup rugby semifinal between Rhinos and the Black Pirates on Saturday, December 10 at King’s Park in Bweyogerere, prop Edgar Pajob, 30, who just enjoyed a 25-minute second-half cameo, felt as though he had run a marathon.
Pajob, who was brought on in the second half, to ensure Rhinos were subdued more, resulting in a 30-8 victory for Pirates, admitted that he was so tired after. Pajob’s endless heaving could have clouded how delighted he was, that his side had made their first Uganda Cup final since 2018, which they lost to Kobs rugby club.
Pirates meet Heathens this weekend in Entebbe. Incidentally, Pirates run to winning all and sundry, the treble in the 2017/18 season, started with victory in the Uganda Cup over Heathens at Kyadondo rugby club, 32-20.
That was Pajob’s first season at Pirates, after they signed him from Makerere Impis. But Pirates have been perennial bridesmaids since. In the same regard, Pajob has also had a series of set-backs. But he hopes that this season, can be a renaissance for him and Pirates.
“In 2020, I tore my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee. I did not play the whole of 2021. And this year, I have probably played about eight games as a substitute,” Pajob said.
Sometimes the pain of the knee injury was unbearable. Worse still, because of inactivity, he put on a lot of weight. He returned weighing 180kgs, putting pressure on the knee, slowing healing, as pain returned.
His club jersey could not fit him anymore. He played in an unbranded t-shirt. His physio advised him to get onto a special diet, to cut his weight.
He has partially succeeded, now that his jersey fits him again. But Pajob has a long way to go, as Pirates still are, on having a formidable forward line, to become dominant again.