When Hima Heathens paraded their new signings a fortnight ago, back row Scot Olouch stood out and described Heathens style of play as favourable. “Heathens’ playing style is well known, it’s upfront and direct and that is what I am used to,” he said.
It’s no secret that the record 13 time Uganda Cup winners have the most dominant packs over time. The league champions also added Jamil Nyango, Ivan Otema, Boaz Musasizi and Victor Wangobo to their pack to make it five forwards signings.
The green army visits Stanbic Pirates at Kings Park, Bweyogere for the first time in a Uganda Cup semi-final early kick off and the hosts’ coach Bobby Musinguzi is expecting Heathens to front their pack game. “Heathens were very busy in the transfer window and beefed up their pack. I believe they be looking to use them a lot,” said Musinguzi.
Pirates also find themselves in a new place without mercurial half back pairing of Ivan Magomu and Conrad Wanyama who have been vital in Pirates recent success. Magomu is away in Mbarara for a spell at the Law Development Centre while Wanyama’s work obligations have kept him stuck in Mbale.
Nathan Bwambale replaced Magomu as captain, a decision Musinguzi took without any doubts. “He is a strong, disciplined leader who inspires confidence in his teammates,” Musinguzi described Bwambale. He also expects the players available to step up with Magomu and Wanyama away.
“The players who are tasked to take up their roles on the team are excited at the massive opportunity they have gotten and in good time they will be flying,” he added.
In the other semifinal, holders Betway Kobs play Pascon Mongers who have never gone past that stage. Mongers are mindful of Kobs’ pedigree but want to break their semifinal hoodoo. “It’s a big game, Kobs have been very successful in local rugby and won’t be easy to beat but we shall certainly give it our best shot,” said Mongers’ Andrew Olweny.
In the Shield semifinals, champions Rams host Pirates’ feeder, Sailors, side in Makerere. The other last four ties is a university battle with Kyambogo hosting Makerere’s Impis.
Main Cup Semifinals
Pirates vs. Heathens, 2pm Kings Park, Bweyogerere
Kobs vs. Mongers, 4pm Kings Park,
Kyambogo vs. Impis, 2pm Kyambogo
Rams vs. Sailors, 4pm Makerere