Match-day 11 Fixtures | 18th March, 2023
Buffaloes Vs Pirates (3pm, Kyadondo)
Mongers Va Walukuba (4pm, Entebbe)
Hippos Vs Kobs (4pm, Damwaters)
Rhinos Vs Heathens (4pm, Legends)
Rams Vs Impis (4pm, Makerere)
Following their narrow 20-17 victory against the Jinja Hippos at Kyadondo this past weekend, Buffaloes will be hosting the Stanbic Black Pirates, who also come into this game after their outstanding performance that saw them comeback from the depth of the sea to sailing atop calm waters and hence securing themselves a much vital victory against the Rams at the Graveyard in Makerere.
Pirates have lost just one of their games this season and are seated third in the league standings which makes them the better side and favourites in this encounter.
Buffaloes though, have shown immense spirit and showcased brilliant play of rugby recently evidenced by their points haul. Their performance has seen them move through the shadows and now stand fourth in the league after overcoming a powerful Jinja Hippos side and displacing them from the fourth position spot.
If this performance is to go by, Buffaloes is now one of the most dreaded sides as they’ve secured wins against Impis and Hippos, two of the teams that might be said to be at the same level of competition as them. Attaching enormous importance to these wins , they have put the Kyadondo side ahead of the aforementioned in the standings.
In the first leg at Bweyogerere, Pirates was able to win 22-09 in early February. In a period one could say Buffaloes were a little unsettled having received new players who had been trying to fit into the team. Buffaloes looks to be much stronger now, having grown comfortable into the season and with some vital individuals missing on the Pirates squad following National 7s team call ups, Buffaloes will look at using this to their advantage.
The absence of these individuals has somewhat proved to hurt Pirates in the previous two games as they’ve struggled a little, at the graveyard, they had to work their way up to eventually win the game this past weekend against Rams, they were also held to a very tight game by Impis and has to fight resiliently to come through victorious in the end.
Looking at a Buffaloes side that’s seemingly to be on form, this could be an avenue they can exploit and hurt Pirates, costing them a chance to have their hands on the league title.
With their ongoing form, confidence has grown in the Buffaloes camp. Fullback Daniel Kateregga insists they will compete, perform and win this game.
“We know they are very good, but we are also sure we have put in a lot to be where we are right now, the team has shown spirit in the last games and to us, it’s like any other game, we are coming to win it because we are prepared to do so and nothing less” Kateregga stated.
“Our homework has been done and we know how to hurt them, the boys are prepared” he continued.
Pirates look a little shaky and fragile right now, their inability to secure winning bonus points has seen the gap between them and table leaders Kobs widen. The ease with which the recent opponents have penetrated their defence is a key talking point.
Their game with Buffaloes is one they will hope to win with a bonus point but with the energy in the Buffaloes camp, this looks very unlikely and the game will surely have a narrow score margin for whatever team that will emerge winners.
Buffaloes are determined to keep themselves in the top four and also widen the gap between themselves and Hippos in the sense of strengthening and sealing their position up-top especially now that Hippos face a tough opponent in Kobs. This game therefore is one they will use to send a message to the rest of the teams in the competition.
Without Aaron Tukei, Katerega will take on fullback and kicking duties in a contest with Ivan Magomu or Conrad Wanyama of Pirates.
Who will win?
Based on the current run from both teams; the Buffaloes form, the Pirates inconsistency coupled with their unpredictability, it is hard to tell who the ultimate winner of this tie will be.
Pirates though are most likely to edge this one due to their advantage in having much more experienced players who can control the game as opposed to Buffaloes.
It will be a narrow margin win for Pirates, a hard fought victory, but Buffaloes will surely walk away with a bonus point to reward their efforts.
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