Heathens standing tallest halfway through season

Tuesday January 22 2019

Heathens’ backrow Arthur Mukama is tackled

Heathens’ backrow Arthur Mukama is tackled by the Warriors pair of Nelson Mandela and Daniel Bule on Saturday. Heathens have won all 9 games. PHOTO BY E. CHICCO 

By Deus Bugembe

Kampala- With the 2018/19 Nile Special Premiership at the halfway stage, Hima Heathens are enjoying a one-point advantage at the top with the second round resuming on Saturday.

At the start of the campaign, it was predicted to be a three-horse race with a few surprises and as expected, Heathens, Betway Kobs and Stanbic Pirates have led from the front with Dusupay Warriors breaking the shackles to establish themselves as outsiders.

Bookmakers had Pirates and Kobs ahead of Heathens in the title race but the latter have quietly gone about their business to lead, with scalps of both Kobs and Pirates. “It’s been a challenging first round but we have stood up and patched up to improve. We have to train hard and keep battling if we are going to stay up all the way,” Heathens coach Mohammed Athiyo told Daily Monitor.

Kobs, who sit second, a point adrift of Heathens, have made good use of the bonus point.

“The bonus point is important, look at us; we lost a game but we are behind by just a point,” Kobs coach Fred Mudoola noted.

Kobs have picked seven bonus points but Mudoola still thinks it’s been tough. “Teams have beefed up. Whoever is to win the race has to be consistent and grind out results in the second round,” he added.

Champions Pirates had a slow start but they have picked up to get back in it. “It’s been harder than it as last season. Second round is about winning games and maximizing on the bonus points,” said Pirates’ coach Bobby Musinguzi.

Squad depth will also play a major role with clubs expected to lose players when the national sevens training kicks off in mid-February. More players will join the national 15s set around March at a crucial stage of the race.
The league curtain calls in March 30.