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The crème de la crème of Super 8 League first half

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 Rhinos’ old horse and former Rugby Cranes international Musoke (with ball) forces

Rhinos’ old horse and former Rugby Cranes international Musoke (with ball) forces his way through Heathens’ defence last weekend at Kyadondo RFC. Heathens grit their teeth for a last-minute 17-10 triumph. Photo by Eddie Chicco 

By DEUS BUGEMBE

Posted  Saturday, December 21  2013 at  02:00
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Kampala- With more rugby action to unfold in the second round, there’s already been plenty to cause enough excitement as the first half of the fixtures from the 2013/2014 Nile Special Super 8 Rugby Premier League climaxed.
So far the usual suspects are on top of the pile. But there is a slight wave of change with a rejuvenated DMark Kobs leading with an unbeaten record.
Defending champions MTN Heathens are second but what a bruising round they have endured! The close shaves against their understudies Toyota Buffaloes and Ezee Money Rhinos had everyone watching on their feet. Buffaloes have continued their meteoric rise whereas Rhinos have put their message clear on the wall that they will even be harder nuts to crack.
All in all, it remains quite too early to predict who will be atop the log when the second round climaxes in late February. SCORE digs deeper and picks the outstanding players that have made a larger-than-life impact for their teams to form the dream 15 for the first round. Do you concur? If not, mail us your picks!


1. Brian Odong (DMark Kobs) Loose-head prop

Big Brian has had a strong first half of the season. He recovered from his knee injury just in time to captain the side that many fans think will lift the title this season. Odong has also been an exceptional ball carrier leaving trails of defenders stunned.

2. Cyrus Wathum (DMark Kobs) Hooker

Combative, powerful and consistent. Wathum has been at the heart of Kobs splendid run thus far. The Senior Six Vacist has hallmarks of becoming the finest hooker in Uganda. No one will forget his breathtaking tackle on towering Romano Ogwal in the gigantic Kobs-Heathens clash.

3. Martial Tchumkam (Ezee Money Rhinos) Tight head prop
Having missed the previous season due to a knee injury, the Cameroonian-born Ugandan international has swiftly imposed himself this campaign. A behemoth of a man for a front row forward, Tchumkam has been the shining armour in Rhinos’ impressive first round. His strong defensive work and rock solid scrimmaging has been evident for all to see. His try against Pirates was a combination of raw power and athleticism.
4. Charles Uhuru (Toyota Buffaloes) Lock Another young man on the rise.

Uhuru has formed a devastating Buffaloes locking partnership with Ezekiel Okol. His line-out steals, too, have been a great weapon to Buffaloes game play.

5. Ramathan Govule (DMark Kobs) Lock
Enjoying his second season in Kobs after graduating from understudy side Boks, the young lock’s shows have been unbelievable despite the lock position not being his best on the field. Govule possesses a very all round game with a high work rate and breathtaking skills to swerve past opponents.
His endless man-of-the-match performances have given Kobs an edge.
6. Ronald Musajjagulanyago (DMark Kobs) Blind side flanker
Musajja has enjoyed a dominant first half in the Kobs back row. He is a tireless worker both in defensive and offensive play. He proved how damaging he can be by scoring two tries in the victory over Buffaloes last weekend.

7. Isaac ‘Chuck’ Kimera (Mutoni Warriors) Open side flanker
They might have lost six of their seven first round fixtures but Kimera doesn’t deserve to be part of the faltering Mutoni side. He has been a willing runner, devastating tackler and a leader. He led the spirited young warriors to their maiden topflight win against Mongers. Coach Hebert Wafula will need this young man’s consistency, if the Warriors are to survive the drop.
8. John Byuma Musoke (Ezee Money Rhinos) Eighth man
After missing a lot of rugby because of off-pitch matters, the veteran has come back strong is playing like an 18-year old. Rhinos might have finished fourth in the first round but they have been a different animal. He edges Kobs’ Scot Oluoch.

9. Davis Kiwalabye (DMark Kobs) Scrum half
The pint sized scrum half might turn out to be the buy of the season after switching employers from Pirates to Kobs. His ball distribution from the break down and ball handling has not been matched by any scrum half. His good kicking skills and fruitful decision making are some of the main reasons Kobs look like a team that will break their league jinx. His coordination with fellow new signing Oluoch at the scrum down is something to worry future opponents.

10. Kevin Kermundu (Toyota Buffaloes) Fly half
Another revelation of the season’s first half. His wily running has seen him tear defenses to shreds. He single-handedly sunk Pirates. Not gifted in size, Kermundu makes up with effective ball-distribution and nutmeg dribbles.

11. Phillip Pariyo (Toyota Buffaloes) Wing
Pariyo is one of the league’s sharpest finishers. He has consistently provided a cutting edge to Buffaloes game plan. Not forgetting his kicking ability that has bailed out buffaloes from tricky situations.

12. Oscar Kalyango (DMark Kobs) Inside centre
He has matured gracefully. With his ‘never say die’ attitude, Kalyango has produced block busting runs and off loads to set up wingers on various occasions. His duel with Heathens’ Michael Wokorach was one of the first round’s highlights. He outmuscled the Heathens skipper in all aspects and his own try was the icing on the cake.

13. Michael Wokorach (MTN Heathens) Outside centre
It is too early to write them off. But in what looks like a sinking yellow submarine, Wokorach has stood strong.
Standing in as captain for injured Alex Mubiru, Wokorach has ensured Heathens stay alive in the face of adversity. His 40-yard dash before releasing Allan Otim in the last gasp win over Rhinos cannot be forgotten.

14. Justin Kimono (DMark Kobs) Wing
No stranger to accolades, Kimono leads the scoring charts thanks greatly to his nine-try haul against whipping boys Lira Bulls. His jet-heeled feet and superb work rate make him a permanent fixture in the Kobs line-up.

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