Namilyango cement status as home of local rugby

Soiled but happy. The Namilyango College school rugby teams celebrate reclaiming the title. PHOTOS/DENISE NAMALE 

What you need to know:

Captain Ian Bwowe, handed the trophy to the head teacher, Constantine Mpuuga, who also happens to be an alumnus.

The Monday morning assembly at Namilyango College defined what rugby means to the 122 year old establishment.

It’s not just something they are good at but a way of life, an irresistible culture that captures a student’s imagination on admission.

Fresh delivering a rugby masterclass in the Central Schools Premiership League final against St. Mary’s College Kisubi at the Makerere University Grounds, the entire school population assembled with both teaching and non-teaching staff to get a glimpse of the Holy Grail.

Captain Ian Bwowe, handed the trophy to the Head Teacher, Constantine Mpuuga, who also happens to be an alumnus.

The moment was greeted with cheers moments before the winning team performed their own version of the “Haka.”

Namilyango's Louis Ssempijja recycles possesion the final. 

It was the school’s 12th title since the competition started in 1996.  

Their closest competition, Kings College Budo, has five titles to its name. It is safe to say the trophy is back home for the first time since 2018.

In unplayable soggy conditions after a heavy downpour, the class of 2024 showed composure and had a solution for every attack Smack came up with.

Flyhalf Job Wembabazi got the champions going with a penalty before Emmanuel Azirwe added another for a 6-0 advantage at the break.

Smack returned fired up and cut the deficit to 6-5 with a well worked try from Brandon Muhumuza.

They were back in it with and the Namilyango faithful had every reason to worry but the chosen 15 of the day were not moved, pouncing through Nathan Kakaire whose clean pair of heels left the Smack defence beaten to make it 11-5.

Wembabzi would make it 14-5 with another penalty. It then became one way traffic as Tendo Kigozi’s solo effort saw him slice through to score under the poles.

Wembabazi converted for a 21-5 lead before Emmanuel Okurute found himself at the end of another team tailored try to kill off Smack.

Coaches Emmauel Walakira and Ambrose Kakuru credit the boys' discipline in defence and making it count whenever they visited Smack's territory. 

Namilyango's Ambrose Ssebalijja forces his way through two Smack defenders at Makerere University Rugby Grouds. 

What makes Namilyango special? “It is the rugby culture there. It’s practically a tribe in the school to be part of the team and it comes with lots of respect,” says Timothy Mudoola who won the schools’ title with Namilyango in 2000 and 2001 as captain.

The 2008 winning skipper Brian Asaba thinks “ Rugby is life in Namilyango”. Gavin Mutara who was captain in 2019 when Namilyango lost to Smack in the final called it “ A dark day in my life.”

In a nutshell it’s an honor to don the green and gold, defend the badge with a lot at stake.

Schools' Rugby Championship 

U-20 Final

Namilyango 28-5 Smack

U-17 final

Smack 24 – 3 Budo

U-15 Final

Smack 19 – 0 Budo

Past Winners

1996-Namilyango College

1997- King’s College Budo

1998- Namilyango College

1999- King’s College Budo

2000- Namilyango College

2001- Namilyango College

2002- Kyambogo College

2003- Kings College Budo

2004- Kings College Budo

2005- Namilyango College

2006- Namilyango College

2007- Namilyango College

2008- Namilyango College

2009- St. Mary's College Kisubi

2010- King’s College Budo

2011- Hana Mixed School

2012-Namilyango College

2013-Hana Mixed school

2014-Kololo S.S.S

2015- No final held

2016- St. Mary's College Kisubi

2017- Namilyango College

2018 - Namilyango College

2019 - St. Mary's College Kisubi

2020-2022 ( Covid)

2023: Hana Mixed

2024: Namilyango College

Namilyango College -  12titles

Kings College Budo - 5 titles

St. Mary's College Kisubi  - 3 titles

Hana Mixed School -  3 titles

Kyambogo College - 1 title

Kololo S.S.S -  1 title