MAWANDA who has been stretched due to work commitments has only attended two training sessions this week or this season
By Usher Komugisha
Entebbe Mongers v MTN Heathens (Entebbe S.S) 4:30pm
Utl Kobs v G4S Pirates (Kampala Rugby Club) 5pm
Rhino v Nile (Kampala Rugby Club) 3pm
XFM Impis v Toyota Buffaloes (Makerere) 5pm
THREE games into the Nile Special Super 8 rugby league and it is not too late for G4S Pirates’ former captain Solomon Mawanda to make his game debut this season in time for the biggest Kampala Rugby Club derby tomorrow against table leaders Utl Kobs.
Pirates’ head coach Brian Makalama has dismissed worries that prop Mawanda could be unfit for Saturday’s game. Mawanda who has been stretched due to work commitments has only attended two training sessions (Tuesday and Thursday) this week or this season for that matter.
Makalama explained, “Some games are not about fitness but experience and that is what we shall bring to the pitch against Kobs. We want to win this game and we shall come out strong.”
In a repeat of last year’s Uganda Cup final, eventual winners Kobs have over the past three weeks expressed their clear intentions of getting back to the top of rugby in this country with three wins including a bonus point against the stubborn Toyota Buffaloes last Friday.
League trophy-less in the last three years due to the dominance of archrivals Heathens, the Kobs think they have it right this time round with the blend of experienced veteran players-scrum half Ronnie Lutakome, lock Victor Wadia and eighth man Steven Ogwete with youthful talent like the Kimono brothers-James and Justin and full back Joseph Aredo.
Captain Brian Odong told New Vision Online after yesterday’s training session, “We are going to count on pedigree in this encounter but that does not mean that we are undermining our opponents. The Pirates have been on a low lately but we are fully aware of that because that can bring out the very best from them. We are ready for them tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, the Pirates’ backline has been affected by fly-half Anthony Kinene’s strained left thigh muscle that automatically means his kicking responsibility is going to be shifted to someone else.
According to Makalama, high school sensation Ivan Magomu and Saddam Juma will share the kicking responsibility tomorrow. He, however, dismissed criticisms that the duo could not kick after last weekend’s dismal performance where they missed a total of 21 points.
Pirates’ Mawanda back to tame Kobs