We shall never see a better start to a rugby season than this. The Stanbic Black Pirates play host to the Platinum Credit Heathens this Saturday, 14th January, 2023. Billed as the game of the weekend, a lot is at stake for both sides. Losing the opening day fixture may come back to bite either side in the backside, when the title race becomes stiff.
This is a must win for both sides inside the 80 minutes. A draw wont be enough, given that the Kampala Old Boys (KOBs) start the season against a lighter opponent in newly promoted Walukuba Barbarians.
A Look Back At This Fixture
One can barely recall the last time the Black Pirates come out victors against the Heathens. The last encounter between the two giants ended in tears for the Black Pirates and a Uganda cup trophy for the Heathens. The Heathens had to squeeze a win out of the Bweyogerere Boys well into extra time. They wont have that luxury this time round.
The Black Pirates’ Camp
Time seems to have froze at the Kings Park Arena. The Black Pirates squad looks good enough, and that’s all it is. They are a solid collective unit, but when you start isolating the individual pieces, then the gaps begin to appear.
Recently, they have been silent in the market, making one or two new signings and a plethora of players promoted from the reserve side, the sailors. Club captain Ivan Magomu will have to pull out every trick in the book to win this for his side. Other key players include, Alema Ruhweza, Timothy Kisiga, Frank Kidega, William Nkore, Mubarak Wandera and others.
The Heathens’ Camp
The Heathens have always been known for a strong pack of forwards, but that was exposed by the KOBs and Pirates forwards during the recently concluded Uganda Cup. They have since gone back to the market and acquired the services of Sean Baseka from Mongers and Peter Bisaso from Jinja Hippos.
Everything seems to be going for the kyadondo side. They recently bagged a sponsorship deal worth 330M Uganda Shillings from Platinum Credit, a major boost ahead of the season for the next three years.
Where Will The Game Be Won?
Flare is the word that comes to mind when you think of Pirates’ style of play. Their backs shift the ball faster than a Ugandan shifts from a unit without paying rent. They are capable of hurting any team on any given day, but recently gaps have started to appear. The absence of Center Isaac Massa, also known as Minister of Defence, and the lack of a formidable fullback, has left the team vulnerable. The backs will have to win this one for Pirates, but against which platform?
The Heathens on the other hand are a well rounded team. With threats from both the forwards and backs, they are a menace when they click. Flanker Joaquim Chisano was a notable miss from the squad that won the Uganda Cup, but Heathens is not short on options. The retirement of legendary Hooker, Alex Mubiru, won’t be a major setback, given the form Cyrus Wathum is in. The Heathens Power will be in the pack.
Generally, both teams are fairly matched, but Heathens poses a greater threat.
Are You Ready To Party Rugby Style?
Lots of fun activities have been lined up for the day. From the rugby on the pitch, fans’ challenges during halftime, and an then afterparty on the horizon. Entertainers like Fem DJ, Pia Pounds, Fik Famica, MC Wright and more are ready to dazzle the players, fans and revelers alike. Of course there shall be plenty of eats and drinks to select from.
More Saturday Fixtures
Jinja Hippos Vs Makerere Impis – Damwaters, 4pm.
Toyota Buffaloes Vs Rhinos – Kyadondo Rugby Grounds, 4pm.
Kobs Vs Walukuba Barbarians – Legends Rugby Grounds, 4pm.
Mongers Vs Rams – House of Pain, Entebbe, 4pm.