Stanbic Black Pirates Hijack Rhino’s Journey to the Semifinals

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Stanbic Black Pirates survived the charging Rhinos to qualify for the semifinal playoffs in the Nile Special Rugby Championship at Kings Park Arena on Saturday.

It was a tale of two halves as Rhinos came out swinging and laid down an early marker in the first half by scoring two tries courtesy of Arthur Ocen and Godwin Abwang.

Ivan Kirabo was handy with the boot as he helped the Rhinos race to a 21-0 first half score. The performance from the visitors was breathtaking but it also highlighted where the Stanbic Black Pirates were letting themselves down.

Stanbic Black Pirates brought in reinforcements like Timothy Kisiiga, Haruna Muhammad and Desire Ayera to save the situation. Muhammad was the orchestrator of the comeback as he played a vital role in some decisive and eye-catching rugby.

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“It took belief and trust in ourselves. We had a game plan among ourselves and that’s what it took for us to overcome Rhinos,” said Muhammad.

It was rather disappointing for Rhinos to see what had been a solid campaign come to an end like this but coach Martial Tchumkam remained proud of his team.

“It was unfortunate that we took a 21-0 lead in the first half and in the second half we gave it away. I am very proud of my team and today showed that I have depth because I have five starters out,” said Tchumkam.

For Rhinos, it is the end of the season but for Stanbic Black Pirates they have a date with the Jinja Hippos who defeated the Buffaloes 12-5 but went through on aggregate score after their 40-21.

Kobs will take on Heathens in a two-legged semifinal after they overcame the Plascon Mongers while Heathens defeated the Walukuba Barbarians.
Rhinos is one of the oldest rugby clubs in Uganda and was founded around 1993 by a group of rugby players.

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Nile Special Rugby Men’s Championship – Full Quarterfinal Results:
KOBs 51-16 Mongers (Agg. 68-29)
Heathens 28-16 Walukuba (Agg. 53-16)
Buffaloes 12-05 Hippos (Agg. 33-45)
Pirates 30-27 Rhinos (Agg. 40-34)

Nile Special Rugby Championship Semifinals Fixtures:

Semifinal 1: KOBs vs Heathens
Semifinal 2: Hippos vs Pirates

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