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July 25, 2024

Injury Plagued Impis Host Buffaloes In Game Week 7 Grudge Match

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Impis welcome back winger Roy Kizito in the match day squad. Photo by Nile Special 7s.

After going 5 in 5, Impis faced their biggest challenge of theNile Special Rugby Premier League thus far. Team ‘Arrogance’ was away to defending champions, the Heathens, where they suffered their first defeat of the season. The scoreboard accurately reflected the proceedings of the day, as the Makerere boys lost 55 : 10 to the Heathens.

Heathens’ Michael Wokororach overpowers Impis’ Ivan Otai and Robert Ssentongo before the latter was sent to the ambulance. Courtsey Photo.

However, the statistic the scoreboard couldn’t capture were the injuries sustained by the men in pink. Robert Sssentogo hit the deck first after a try saving tackle on Michael Wokorach. Next was Clive Lumu. The lanky lock/flanker was stretchered off following an unclear incident which left him on the turf rolling for dear life. Details of what exactly happened are disputed, and one can only wish a quick recovery to all the players involved.

To add salt to injury, prop Ariho Muhumuza was given matching orders after what appeared to be repeated illegal scrummaging, and won’t be available this weekend.

Coach Syrus Ssebuliba Is Confident In His Troops

At the post match interview, coach Syrus Ssebuliba noted the fact that injuries always affect a team, but this shouldn’t be cause for alarm. “We have enough depth to deal with the situation. There are plenty of players who haven’t played, who didn’t even make the matchday squad, who are roaring to go. So we will definitely cover that.” said Coach Syrus.

Coach Syrus Ssebuliba was frustrated with his charges in the graveyard derby when they won against Rams. Photo by John Batanudde.

Last Saturday, the Impis had the uphill task of putting up with a heavier Heathens pack, a task they fell short of on many an occasion. They conceded various tries off the scrum, including a penalty try and a red card. Impis also stood no chance against Heathen’s leathel backline which produced MOTM Kato Nicholas.

Buffaloes Ends The ‘Draw Draw’ Trend

Last season, the Impis and the Toyota Buffaloes played out to a 14:14 draw at Kyadondo and a 13:13 draw at Makerere. The Buffaloes had the upper hand when they went back to Makerere in the Uganda Cup, where they emerged 06:17 winners.

Hard running Douglas Musoke (with ball) is one of Buffaloes’ secret weapons. Courtsey Photo.

The Buffaloes have since gone back to the drawing board and made signings. Most notable of these are Ryan Mwadeghu, Ronald Musaazi and Christopher Kato, all from the Rams. The trio are familiar with the Impis, having played in several Graveyard Derbies at Makerere. To focus on these players and lose sight of the rest of the Buffaloes squad would be a grave mistake on Impis’ part. Players like Aaron Tukei, who is in the form of his life, Liam Walker, Morgan Odoch and Douglas Musoke will be a handful for Impis to contain.

Impis Plot A Comeback To Winning Ways

For Impis, there is comfort in knowing they lost the game they had to lose. The task ahead of them now is to return to winning ways. Their next challenge is the Toyota Buffaloes and Impis has a score to settle with them. The Impis are 4th on the table with 20 points whereas the Buffaloes sit 6th with 10 points, a margin that the Buffaloes can reduce with a win.

Despite losing Robert Ssentogo to injury, Impis welcome back a more natural winger in Roy Kizito. The long legged youngstar had been out due to injury but has since made afull recovery. Other returnees include John Mary Tamale and Eriaku Edward to fill the gap left by Clive Lumu and Ariho Muhumuza respectively.

Game Week 7 Fixtures

Impis Vs Buffaloes – Makerere, 4pm.

Black Pirates Vs KOBs – Kings Park, 3pm.

Heathens Vs Rams – Kyadondo, 4pm.

Jinja Hippos Vs Walukuba – Dam Waters, 4pm.

Rhinos Vs Mongers – Legends, 4pm.

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