In the first ever rugby franchise tournament, men were separated from boys last weekend when Protectors and Crocs emerged top at the expense of Fimbo and Magicians.
Therefore, the top two will represent Uganda at the prestigious East African Bamburi Series but before that, the Protectors and Crocs meet this weekend to decide who takes the bragging rights. Felix Eupal assesses the two Ugandan representatives.
Dominated by Heathens and Buffaloes players, Protectors are favourites to make it big in the Bamburi Series. Coached by Robert Seguya, Protectors are so far unbeaten. But their g point is also their undoing – overconfidence.
That comes in handy at times when you are down but it also breeds complacency as was witnessed when Fimbo gave them a run for their money in the 20-20 stalemate.
Seguya has enough artillery to combat any side, a back row that is made up of Solomon Okia, Pius Ogena, Roland Bahendeka and the technically-adept Gerald Sewankambo. Denis Mugambe gives all in the forward position while Paul Epilo offers the team a number of options on the attack.
The franchise from Legends rugby grounds is led by Allan Musoke, who is still making baby steps as a coach. Now, with a major tournament to win, the question is: how far can he go?
After falling to Protectors a fortnight, Musoke rallied his boys and they responded well by seeing off Magicians 26-16 last Saturday to qualify.
His side consisting of players from Dmark Kobs, XFM Impis and Mutoni Warriors has proven they can break down any side with their running game and technical breakouts but their ball handling is lacking and gives away many penalties. That is something they have to be wary of if they are to stop the Kenyan sides.
Musoke will have to rely on Ibra Nyago on the flanks, and Ronald Musajja and Andrew Kasito in the back row. He also has a fine balance between forwards and backs with the experience and young blood of the Wakabi brothers Simon and Lawrence, Adnan Mutebi and Ambrose Kamanyire.
Then again, tag rugby graduate Michael Amolo is a breath of fresh air and has been too slippery for opponents to tackle. He will be a menace if Crocs are to win on Saturday.
Musoke v Seguya:
There are still a number of rugby fans who have never forgiven Crocs coach Allan Musoke for refusing to play for the national team. Of course, that was a long time ago but some things don’t just get erased. Musoke can overturn that by proving he is for rugby. “Being new to coaching doesn’t mean that I don’t know what to do,” he says.
That said, his Protectors counterpart Robert Seguya holds the upper hand when you juxtapose them. A utility flanker in his playing days, he understands the dynamics of positioning better.
Both teams face off this Saturday at Kyadondo Rugby Grounds to decide who walks with Shs 3.2m courtesy of Protector condoms.
Source : The Observer