Wednesday February 5 2014

Kobs mark golden jubilee with first title in six years

 Oluoch, who was re-signed from Heathens at the beginning

Oluoch, who was re-signed from Heathens at the beginning of the season, scored early in the second half against Rhinos. PHOTO BY EDDIE CHICCO 

By ISMAIL DHAKABA KIGONGO

Back in 2009, DMark Kobs were coasting to the Nile Special Super 8 Rugby League title with quite an unassailable lead.

After they beat MTN Heathens in the first round, all they needed to do was to match their rivals’ results over seven games to take their tally past 10 trophies. Heathens had given up on the chase, almost entirely.

Kobs’ two-point lead was then wiped off when the Uganda Rugby Union (URU) docked them three points for using Fred Mudoola to coach while he was serving a ban.

Heathens ceased the initiative and went to win that title and the next four. Inch by inch, Kobs disappeared from the horizon. G4S Pirates and Toyota Buffaloes even finished as runners-up.

Everything was going wrong. Indiscipline became their tag. The club administration seemed to have lost grip of the situation. Even the interest seemed to disappear. In all, Kobs were on the wane.

With former captain Adrian Bukenya joining the executive, the turnaround started. The slow process of returning to the summit started with the return of Mudoola to the bench two years ago. He is a gem. You could start to see the spirit.

But, Heathens were still streets ahead as Kobs went young with Oscar Kalyango Justin Kimono, James Ijongat and Joseph Aredo, among others, steadily rising through the ranks.

Within seven games of the 14-game league, Kobs had built a four-point lead.
Their youthful band just couldn’t finish the job.

The promise was visible. “In my book, you are either number one or nothing. Second place is only a glorified first loser,” Mudoola warned two years ago. A Uganda Cup hat-trick from 2010-12 papered the cracks.

Return to normalcy
It’s that team from 2012 that has delivered something a little more familiar to Kobs’ cabinet, a league title, after six years of hurt with two games to spare.
Led by captain Brian Odong and his deputy Andrew Barasa, they became winners again. Perhaps Kalyango is a testament of how far Kobs have come. The centre has matured triple-fold from the unassuming player.

Mudoola added young lock Ramathan Govule and the re-signing of scrum-half Davis Kiwalabye and back row Scot Oluoch.

Those three made Kobs the machine it once was and surely, there wouldn’t be a better way to celebrate 50 years of the club’s existence.

WEEK 12 RESULTS

Kobs 34-3 Rhinos
Heathens 16-10 Buffaloes
Pirates 72-0 Lira Bulls
Mongers 36-32 Warriors

FORMER WINNERS

2014: Kobs
2013: Heathens
2012: Heathens
2011: Heathens
2010: Heathens
2009: Heathens
2008: Kobs
2007: Kobs
2006:.Kobs
2005:.Heathens
2004: Heathens
2003: Kobs
2002: Heathens
2001: Kobs
1999: Kobs
1998: Kobs
1997: Kobs
1996: Kobs/Impis
1995: Kobs


ikigongo@ug.nationmedia.com

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