Pirates: It is our time – Ivan Magomu


“You cannot stop an idea whose time has come, it is our time! and I believe we shall keep on dominating for some years to come.” Ivan Magomu asserted, following Pirates’ premiership victory.

The 2023 Nile Special Rugby league might have been Pirates’ time to step out of the shadows, but it sure was in the same space, Ivan Magomu’s era to assert his brilliance.

His season-long brilliance on the field was evident as he outshone his competitors to emerge as the top scorer of the 2023 rugby league season and in the end, propelling Pirates to a resounding premiership victory.

Magomu scored four tries, successfully converted forty two conversions and fifteen penalty kicks to amass an astonishing 149 points, ahead of KOBs’ Joseph Aredo and Pius Ogena who managed 121 and 110 respectively.

It is inarguable that his exceptional performances combined with unwavering determination were instrumental in Pirates’ success throughout the season.

As a team, Pirates won 17 league games, losing just one against KOBs in the first round and totaling 79 league points, to win their second league title having claimed their very first in 2018.

However, as the skipper puts it, it was not just his efforts that sealed the fate for Pirates, but the team’s efforts as a whole.
“I have worked really hard, not only me, but as a team also. We have worked really hard.”

Going into the season

“At the beginning of the season, we set a target. Generally, we have hit it and the hard work has paid.” Magomu mentioned.

According to his remarks, it is clear that one of Pirates’ goals this season was to attain a clean run of results with a one hundred percent winning record.

In an attempt to fulfil this, the Sea Robbers had a strong start to the campaign, winning the first six games before suffering a devastating 25-30 defeat at home to KOBs in game week seven.

“We should have gone unbeaten but we were unlucky against KOBs in the first round,” Magomu remarked.

The home defeat might have exposed them and opened their eyes to an invulnerability within their defence. The setback served as a wake-up call for Pirates, igniting a fierce determination to rectify their mistakes and strengthen their defence.

They would then go on to win all their remaining league fixtures, including a second round victory over Heathens at Kyadondo to complete a season double against the defending champions.

Title deciding encounter

In preparation for the title decider against KOBs at Legends, Magomu said they worked on their defence all week.

“They were big boys, and we knew they were going to run hard at us, so the whole week we were mastering defence” he explained.

On the final day, their defence awakening might have worked to their fortunes.

Magomu’s outstanding performance, coupled with the team’s remarkable defensive resurgence, proved to be the catalysts that led Pirates to secure a convincing 7-23 win over their fierce rivals, KOBs.

“We were disciplined in defence, we defended really well and when we got the chance to punish KOBs, we really did,” said Magomu.

As opposed to the first leg, Pirates showcased their transformed defensive prowess as they thwarted every attempt by KOBs to breach their fortifications, limiting their opponents to a mere seven points, a stark contrast to their previous encounter.

Magomu, with his astounding performance on the day, was flawless with his boot, successfully converting all three penalties and two conversions amounting 13 points. He was also named the player of the match.

Speaking after the game, he expressed the team’s happiness for having won the game and title ultimately.

“It is a good feeling winning the league, we are happy as a team, we have worked really hard throughout the season and we have been very disciplined.”

Reflecting on their triumph, he credited their victory to a combination of hard work, the team’s management and the fans.
“I have to give credit to the team, management, and the fans, they have been behind us from the first whistle”

The skipper has unwavering confidence that Pirates will dominate for some years to come especially with the young squad it possesses.

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