Heathens mute Pirates' title defence to send Kobs atop

Saturday February 9 2019

Heathens' hooker Richard Kanyanya (with ball)

Heathens' hooker Richard Kanyanya (with ball) is tracked by Pirates pair of Ivan Magomu (L) and Baron Kasozi (R). EDDIE CHICCO  


Heathens 18-15 Pirates
Kobs 78-06 Rams
Hippos 35-20 Rhinos
Warriors 43-21 Barbarians
Buffaloes 29-17 Mongers

KAMPALA. It’s now safe to say the Nile Special Premiership title race is between Hima Heathens and Betway Kobs after the former beat champions Stanbic Pirates 18-15, killing their title defence hopes and sending Kobs top of the log on points difference in the process.

Pirates came into the game needing nothing less than a win to keep in the mix but Heathens were not about to lose their winning streak that now stands at 12 on the bounce. Mathematically Pirates are still in it but realistically out as Heathens and Kobs will have to collapse, which is unthinkable. In a game of fine margins, every chance counts but Pirates were guilty of failing to kill off the game even when the tide favoured them. They lost up to six own lineouts as Charles Uhuru was a nuisance. Paul Masendi got a brace for Heathens while Harunah Mohammed and Conrad Wanyama got Pirates' tries.

“We blew easy chances that would have seen us kill off the game and our discipline was not the best,” Pirates captain Ivan Magomu told Daily Monitor after seeing his side throw away a five point lead late on in the second half. Pirates did not help themselves as they conceded a try from an intercept while wing Baron Kasozi failed to utilize a gift from Paul Epillo's reckless kick.

Heathens` fullback Simon Okwera put on a spotless show with two penalties and looked composed, cool under the ball and barely put a foot wrong. Okwera's performance was a reflection of Heathen`s general game. They stayed in the game, soaked all the pressure and managed to come out unscathed.

“It was a well contested game and it could have gone either side but I am happy we managed to win the game, as we played a more structured game,” said Heathens captain Michael Wokorach. Heathens are level on points, 56, with Kobs and they meet next weekend in what could be the title decider. Pirates are third on 44.