The insane numbers behind Black Pearls' three-peat unbeaten dominance

Black Pearls lifted the 2023-24 league title. PHOTO/JOHN BATANUDDE 

What you need to know:

The crowning ceremony, held at their King's Park fortress recently came at the back of a grueling but fulfilling season for the Helen Buteme-coached outfit.

For three years on the run, Black Pearls have won the URU 15s women's league without losing a match.

The crowning ceremony, held at their King's Park fortress recently came at the back of a grueling but fulfilling season for the Helen Buteme-coached outfit.

A combination of factors came into play for Black Pearls. In a season where the team's national 7s players touched no ball, it felt like the team didn't feel their absence.

Imagine crushing opponents without the services of Grace Auma, Lydia Namabiro, Ritta Nadunga and Rachael Mufuwa.

In their absence, young guns like Bushira Namutebi (centre), Mary Nakato (debutant, wing) ably filled in.

Second row Sharifa Kobusingye, playing her first ever season, played all 12 games and teamed up with Hellen Acanit to devastating effect.

The team also had the experience of coach-player Buteme, fellow veteran Charlotte Mudoola, Emmanuella Oroma (on and off), Peace Mirembe and Emilly Lekuru to count on. 

Lock Sharifa Kobusingye has stood out as one of the Black Pearls' shining stars, featuring in all league games. PHOTO/JACOB OCEN SIYOI

Lekuru on rampage 

The season was full of off pitch challenges for Lekuru. Her saga with the 7s national team management and URU are well documented. But she put all that behind her back and enjoyed undoubtedly her best season since 2016. 

Out of the team's total haul of 116 tries, 69 came from Lekuru. Nakato (14) Suzan Àdong (11) were the others in double figures. Mudoola fell just two short but compensated that with her boot, kicking 38 conversions and one penalty. Namutebi added 23 conversions and a penalty. 

Nakato deserves a special mention. The youngster, aptly nicknamed Boda Boda for her mastery in navigating through small spaces at terrific speeds, announced her arrival on the grand stage in the best way possible.

She only played seven games out of the season's 12, and touched down on 14 occasions. All this in her debut season. 


In achieving this, nine players didnt miss a single match during the season. This built the core of the team and gave other players chance to fit in seamlessly.

The nine are: Lekuru, Kobusingye, Namutebi, Zulaika Mukyala, Yvonne Namatovu, Lillian Namuddu, Mary Grace Akoth, Sumaya Kitimbo and Nancy Akwero.

Final league table
Team                GP  W  L  PD  BP  Pts 

Black Pearls    12  12 0   541  11   59
Thunderbirds    12 10  2   334 10  50
Avengers          12  8    4  -15    3     35
Ewes                  12  4   7   -120  2    20
Nile Rapids       12  4   8    -225  2   18
She Wolves      12    3   8    -162  2     16
Panthers            12   0   12  -348  4    04

Additional information
*Only one Bonus Point missed (vs Thunderbirds at King's Park)
*Total points for: 710
*Total points against: 169
*Points difference: 541
*Total tries for: 116
*Total tries against: 27
*Tries difference: 89

Veterans. Black Pearls players Charlotte Mudoola (L) and Helen Buteme. PHOTO/JOHN BATANUDDE 

15s league debutants
Sharifah Kobusingye, Lillian Namuddu, Rebecca Kabajungu, Fiona Karungi, Mary Nakato, Gladys Acen, **Mary Grace Akoth, **Fatia Nakasi, **Sumaya Kitimbo, **Sylvia Akopo, **Zulaika Mukyala
**denotes player on loan from Njeru Cyclones.


MD 1, February 03
Ewes 10-41 Black Pearls 
Lekuru 3 tries
Nakato didn't play

MD 2, February 10
Black Pearls 46-22 Avengers 
Lekuru 3 tries
Nakato 2 tries

MD 3, February 17
Thunderbirds 14-39 Black Pearls 
Lekuru 5 tries
Nakato 2 tries

MD 4, February 24
Nile Rapids 05-77 Black Pearls 

Lekuru 7 tries
Nakato didn't play

MD 5, March 2
Black Pearls 118-22 Panthers 

Lekuru 12 tries
Nakato 4 tries

MD 6, March 16
Black Pearls 72-12 She Wolves

Lekuru 7 tries
Nakato 2 tries 

MD 7, March 23
Avengers 06-31 Black Pearls 

Lekuru 5 tries
Nakato didn't play 

Kobusingye has been unstoppable. PHOTO/JACOB OCEN SIYOI

MD 8, April 13
Black Pearls 46-35 Thunderbirds 

Lekuru 4 tries
Nakato 1 try

MD 9, April 20
She Wolves 15-36 Black Pearls 

Lekuru 4 tries
Nakato didn't play 

MD 10, April 27
Panthers 05-86 Black Pearls 

Lekuru 7 tries
Nakato didn't play

Emily Lekuru in full-flight. PHOTO/JOHN BATANUDDE 

MD 11, May 04
Black Pearls 58-11 Nile Rapids 

Lekuru 7 tries
Nakato 1 try

MD 12, May 18
Black Pearls 60-12 Ewes
Lekuru 5 tries
Nakato 2 tries

Black Pearls top scorers' table 

Player      Tries.   Conv.   Pen.    Points
Lekuru     69          -            -          345
Mudoola  08         38       01       119
Nakato     14         -           -           70 
Àdongb     11        -           -          55
Namutebi   -         23          01      49