Uganda Cup: Heathens, Kobs set Titanic final

Monday November 11 2019

Kobs’ winger Conrad Mukwaya dives over the

Kobs’ winger Conrad Mukwaya dives over the white for the games last try. PHOTO BY JOHN BATANUDDE  

By Deus Bugembe

Hima Cement Heathens and Betway Kobs will renew their eternal rivalry when they clash in the Uganda Cup final on Saturday, after dispatching Black Pirates and Plascon Mongers, respectively, in the semi-finals games played at the Kings’ Park on Saturday.
In the lunchtime kick-off, last year’s losing finalists Pirates could not contain the Heathens’ physical machine.
Halfback Robert Masendi opened the account with a penalty for a 3-0 halftime lead and Joseph Oyet added a drop goal for Heathens after recess, before Ivan Magomu split the upright with a penalty to reduce the game to 6-3.
The ensuing minutes saw both teams lock into brutal battles but it was evident that Heathens wanted it more. They kept Pirates on the back foot and the Sea Robbers’ usual sweet-on-the-eye rugby deserted them, with many uncharacteristic handling errors and uncoordinated moves.
Fullback Joseph Oyet proved the hero of the day for the men in green when he danced his way past Pirates defenders on the right wing to score an individual try. The cherry on top came with substitute Chris Lubanga finding the goal with a penalty. In the second game, defending champions Kobs overcame a nervy start to beat Mongers. Scrumhalf Paul Angana gave the Entebbe side a dream start with a pick-and-go try from the base of the scrum, deep into the Kobs’ territory.
Mongers should have wrapped up the game but Adrian Wasswa, arguably the best place kicker for many years in Ugandan rugby, must have forgotten his lucky boots in Entebbe. The center, known to kick from all angles and distance, only found the target once in six attempts. Every time he missed a kick, Mongers players and their travelling fans plus the neutrals all held their heads. Very rare to see him miss.
His frailties gave Kobs chance to capitalise on the failures. First, it was new signing Daudi Semwami to dot down from a well-weighted James Ijongat cross kick.
Midway through the game, Kobs lock Robert Aziku saw yellow for a shoulder charge offense but Mongers failed to make count of their numerical advantage and got punished for it. Ivan Kirabo scored three penalties, before winger Conrad Mukwaya touched down late into the game to seal it for Kobs.
Saturday’s final sees lifetime rivals Heathens and Kobs go toe-to-toe for the first 15s silverware of the season, still, at the Kings’ Park.