Monday February 26 2018

Rugby: Rhinos lose ground in title race

Yesss: Heathens’ coach Athiyo had reason to

Yesss: Heathens’ coach Athiyo had reason to jubilate at full time. PHOTO BY EDDIE CHICCO 

By Deus Bugembe


On a day they were supposed to stand stall and keep up with the pacers in the Nile Special Premiership title race, Rhinos weathered like paint on a boat. Heathens set them back with a hard fought 23-15 win at Legends Rugby Grounds on Saturday.
With the top two Buzz Pirates and Betway Kobs all winning, Rhinos had to match them to stay in the mix but Heathen’s pride could not let them prosper.
They are still third on 49 points but five off second placed Kobs and six away from leaders Pirates. With games against Kobs and Pirates in the queue, the Brian Makalama-coached side have their work cut out.
“Bitter loss, our set piece platform was challenged especially at the line out and we did not get the desired continuity” Makalama told Daily Monitor. “It’s a foot off the race but we will finish strong,” he added.
Marksman Lawrence Sebuliba gave Heathens the lead early on with a try before completing his brace after the break. Captain Michael Wokorach and Allan Wanyoto also got over as Rhinos would mount a comeback that never matured. David Otwi and Michael Amollo ran in with tries while Ivan Markmot nailed a penalty and a drop goal for the hosts.
In Entebbe, Pirates fans had feared that a bonus point would elude them against Mongers.
10-7, it was at the break but like they have done the entire season, they bossed the second half with Ronald Tusiime, Richard Odekere, Baron Kasozi, Conrad Wanyama and Isaac Massa tries giving them all five points as they opened up a two-point lead at the summit.
Kobs missed the opportunity to keep it tighter at the top when they failed to finish off Buffaloes at Kyadondo.
Leading 19-0 at halftime, Kobs never showed up in the second forty as Buffaloes crawled back with 12 points for the game to end 19-12.
Hippos provided the shock of the weekend with a 30-10 defeat of Warriors.