Home Rugby National Rugby Championship 2023 Rugby Premiership season flowers handed over by the witty Kavuma

2023 Rugby Premiership season flowers handed over by the witty Kavuma

by Nnalubaale Sports
3 minutes read

Now that the Nile Special Rugby Premiership is in the rearview mirror and we’re seemingly running low on social unpleasantries, let’s celebrate and award the best to do it.

Most Valuable Player

It is right and just to start with the top individual gong, the Most Valuable Player. Everywhere you turn and ask, you’ll get one answer – Ivan Magomu.

The Stanbic Black Pirates captain has been nothing short of immaculate this season. He has played all 18 games of the season and finished them, save for the two yellow cards he received.

The deft kicking, line commanding five-eighth held the ship together when the Pirates lost Sevens internationals.

This kept the Pirates just within reach of glory from where the rest of the contingent picked up and pushed them to the echelons of victory.

It’s worth noting that Magomu has finished at the top of points scorers this season with a bounty of 149 points. A captain leading from the front is a captain worth following.

Rookie Of The Year

Hello Gift Wokorach, you’re amazingly talented. It is another case of fly-half being marvelous.

The Walukuba Barbarian has been an architect of every good thing that has happened for the Barbarians throughout this season.

At the start of the season, many predicted that they’d go back down just as they came but under Gift’s guidance, the Barbarians have stayed up and the league now boasts of two senior teams across the Nile bridge.

Gift’s so good that he lent his services to the U20 expedition in Kenya and was instrumental in ensuring that Uganda survived relegation.

Gift Wokorach’s rise mirrors another – Alex Aturinda who was introduced to rugby folk as a Barbarian in 2018 and is now a Champion with the Pirates in 2023.

Coach Of The Year

This is the hardest one to give away. We have a three-horse race and the final bend is indeed malaria time in Rugby Legend Allan Musoke‘s voice.

First, coach Syrus Ssebuliba of the Impis. He has led the team to an indelible 5/5 start to the league, a run that claimed away scalps of the Hippos and Mongers.

The Impis, who had been written off at the start definitely showed they were competing this year.

It was sad that injuries ruined that flow and that saw their form slipping but the club managed to secure 6th place, their best finish in over a decade.

It’s only bettered by the big three in; Pirates, Heathens, and KOBs, and the two perennial outsiders in Hippos and Buffaloes.

The second contender for this award is coach Leonard Lubambula. In his second coming with the Barbarians in the premiership.

Coach Lubambula has been all about business and ensuring the Walukuba outfit stands up to be counted.

Unlike the first time when they were relegated the same season they got promoted, the Barbarians stay around having finished above the Rhinos and the Rams.

The Barbarians have been a tougher team to beat this year and have given this writer the Rookie of the Year in Gift Wokorach. You look at Gift’s play and you see the work of his coach.

The final contender

The number three contender is the champion, Marvin Odongo. They don’t make competitors like Odongo anymore.

Marvado, like he’s called by his peers, led a Pirates team that was hungry for a major bust of energy after back-to-back poor seasons to the promised land at first time of asking.

It can be argued that he took over from a system that Coach Bobby Musigunzi implemented.

But, let’s not be quick to forget that he was involved in building this system and did not just inherit world beaters.

Some of the players he’s coaching now were his peers in the 2018 champion season and getting them to buy into his philosophy so quickly is nothing short of brilliant.

Fans of the year

Rugby has 23 fans. Or at least had 23 fans to start the season. By the end, the number should have risen. The fans of the Jinja Hippos are our fans of the year.

They have shown commitment to not just their team, but to the game of rugby as a whole and the fiesta that comes after the final whistle.

Their social media usage is subtle and effective. Social media is the way to go and they’ve been able to manipulate it for their benefit.

They came to the aid of Heathens’ Joachim Chisano in a very selfless way when they spearheaded abashment in their backyard and donated the proceeds to him.

Sadly, Chisano lost his father a while later but I know the Hippos’ gesture stuck with Chisano as the funds aided in footing the hospital bills.

Heathens fans have always been deafeningly noisy but even they bowed to the new king, the Jinja Hippos. That, in its own right, shows you their kind of impact.

With many fans going through withdrawal after the premiership, we hope that the Sevens will locate us quite early so we can again consistently enjoy the game we all love.

By: James Kavuma

Courtesy Photos

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