Saturday October 12 2013

Hostile reception awaits Heathens in Super Cup

Heathens’ Benon Kiiza evades a challenge against local

Heathens’ Benon Kiiza evades a challenge against local rivals Kobs recently. Heathens are playing in foreign territory today. Photo by Eddie Chicco 


Kampala- When Lewis Hamilton spoke earlier this week about his fears that Formula One fans will lose interest in the sport because Sebastian Vettel is so dominant, he must have spoke for many people.

Vettel, 26, could seal a fourth consecutive world championship this weekend in Japan. Hamilton said he did not watch races when Michael Schumacher dominated.

“I remember waking up to watch the start of the race then going to sleep and waking up when it had ended because I knew what would happen,” said Hamilton. “I am pretty sure a lot of people are doing that today.” Between 2000 and 2004, Schumacher, a German like Vettel, won five world titles with the opposition only acting as bridesmaids.

It’s that kind of role that is being played by many clubs as MTN Heathens have raised the bar so high to bring that ‘Schumacher-Vettel-feeling’ to Uganda. Fans must be ‘bored’ too.

Five Nile Special Super 8 Rugby Premier League titles in a row, reclaiming the Uganda Cup this year after four years and another 7s titles is all its has taken for Heathens to make this ‘boring’.

“Of course the morale is low but all players can do is play and not get involved in the politics or anything else happening within rugby,” Heathens skipper Alex Mubiru noted.

No wonder Heathens are looking elsewhere for motivation. Today, they are across the border to face Kenyan champion Nakuru in the first leg of the inaugural East African Super Cup. Coach Brian Tabaruka’s side must set the tone without a bulk of their experienced players in a ‘mini-revenge’ for Rugby Cranes losing to Kenya in the Elgon Cup and Africa Cup this year.

Hooker Mubiru, flankers Scot Oluoch and Mathias Ochwo, half-back Faisal Gamma, utility back Brian Kikawa and wing Jonathan Onen missed the Thursday road trip to Nakuru due to injuries and work.
Stand-in captain Michael Wokorach was due to join the side last night. “As a club, we are always motivated to win every game. It will be a big boost,” Tabaruka said.

Nakuru won’t be a new preposition as these are the same players who were part of Top Fry Ndovu’s charge towards the Bamburi Rugby Super Series crown earlier this year.

Ndovu beat the then Kyadondo-based Rwenzori here during the pool stages.
This East Africa Cup is an innovation of Jinja Rugby Club official Edgar Ochieng and Heathens will be glad he thought hard.

Heathens probable 15
Asuman Mugerwa, Paul Sserunjongi, Denis Mugambe Grace Lubega, Denis Mulo, Romano Ogwal, Roland Bahendeka, Arthur Mukama, Raymond Ssembajjwe, Chris Lubanga, Ronnie Musoke, Evan Kingasia, Michael Wokorach (captain), Allan Otim, Benon Kiiza