Pirates all but dash Kobs title hopes

  • Kobs 14-30 Black Pirates
Pirates players lead by skipper Ivan Magomu (R) applaud fans after the game (Photo: Twitter | Pirates Rugby Ug)

The 2019 National Rugby Premiership title run in took another twist, probably the last, on Friday evening at Legends.

Defending champions Black Pirates defeated pregame title favourites Kobs, 30-14, to avenge the first round loss at King’s Park.

Tries from eighth man Desire Ayera, fullback Timothy Kisiga,
flanker Isaac Rujumba, and winger Timothy Odong coupled with a penalty and two conversions from Conrad Wanyama gave Pirates a commanding 27-00 first half lead.

The visitors whose mission from the start was to avenge the first round defeat according to skipper Ivan Magomu started with intent right from kick-off and it was not long before they got on board.

Kobs’ failure to contain Pirates scrum gifted Ayera who was at the back of the maul. Scrum half Conrad Wanyama converted before adding a penalty to give Pirates a 10-0 lead.

In an effort to get back in the game, Kobs again gifted Pirates more possession with their handling errors. Timothy Odongo made an easy pick and passed to Ayera who ran through Kobs defense before he was brought down. Kisiga offered support and ran through for Pirates second at the corner. The conversion was wide.

With Kobs defense in sixes and sevens, Pirates never took the foot off the pedal and were soon in for their third try, thanks to Ivan Magomu who quickly found the man of the match Rujumba and the flanker went over the line.

As halftime neared, Haruna Muhammad cleared his lines but Kimono failed to collect gifting Odongo with the ball and the winger raced to the line for Pirates fourth that Wanyama converted for a 27-00 lead.

The hosts had all the work to do the second half and the technical bench made several changes right from the first half.

Pius Ogena, Adnan Mutebi, and Faraj Odugo came on with starting scrum-half Ivan Kirabo, Ronald Musajja and Collins Kimbowa making way. Adrian Kasito was moved to scrum half and there was a lot of urgency in Kobs attack.

However, it was Pirates that extended their lead to 30-00 through Conrad Wanyama’s long penalty.

Ogen, though, made an instant impact in Kobs attack and midway the second half he scored the team’s first try from a driving maul.

Kobs second try came too little to late through Joseph Aredo as Pirates held on for the bonus point.

Defeat for Kobs means second placed Heathens who host lowly Walukuba Barbarians at Kyadondo on Saturday will got top with victory which is a near certainty.

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