Monday, 10 February 2014

Kasito rises to the occasion as Kobs edge MTN Heathens

Kobs’ players celebrate their win against MTN Heathens on Saturday. Kobs also lifted the Nile Special Super 8 Rugby trophy

DMark Kobs were already Nile Special Super 8 Rugby Premiership champions for the first time in six years before Saturday’s visit to Kyadondo to face rivals MTN Heathens.
But, the game meant everything. Kobs’ effervescent 14-13 victory, a first at Kyadondo in the league in five years, was celebrated like a cup final triumph.
Heathens last lost here in the league in 2009, a 21-19 result. This was even closer though it shouldn’t have just like the 11-point margin between the sides (Kobs 49, Heathens 38) before the game.
The visitors had almost squandered a game they dominated when prop Asuman Mugerwa scored a late try underneath the posts with Philip Wokorach converting.
Replacement scrumhalf Adrian Kasito’s penalty ensured that the better team on the day, Kobs, won here, two years after their 14-13 victory in the Uganda Cup final through a Joseph Aredo kick.
Having reclaimed the title seven days prior after six years, Kobs set the tone early. Back row Ronald Musajja scored a try and fullback Aredo nailed a penalty. Heathens were shaken and Kobs should have scored more. “It was going to be hard to motivate the players after knowing we had won the league,” coach Fred Mudoola said.
Nothing like that showed as their scrum squeezed the life out of Heathens who dearly miss injured hooker Alex Mubiru and flanker Mathias Ochwo.
For all their inadequacies, Wokorach made two of his four first half penalties to stay in touch. The second half followed a similar pattern with Kobs commanding possession and territory.
A multitude of knock-ons and the sheer lack of the killer punch eluded the league’s highest scoring team. Also, the hosts’ defence was resolute. Then, man of the match Aredo’s second penalty made it 6-11. While down, Heathens were not out and Mugerwa’s try was almost out of nothing.
“This was a huge result under the circumstances,” Mudoola added. Many shared that sentiment except his opposite Brian Tabaruka and his crew who played in first gear throughout.
The next phase is simple – beat Toyota Buffaloes on the final and Kobs will have completed a perfect 14-game season. It’s a more than just a possibility as they have leaked only five tries in 13 games. The Kobs’ stand emptied on to the pitch following the final whistle.

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