Author: akatimba256

REUNION, FUN AND SURPRISES AS SMACK LEAGUE SEASON TWO ROLLS OFF: By @magero_moses

The much anticipated SMACK league season 2 kicked off last Sunday at Batvalley Primary School and as much as the bookmakers had foreseen, the day was a wrap.
Dubbed by many as the biggest Sunday night plot in the land, the league had people from all walks of life, both old boys of the college and non old boys, family day out and a chance for the totos to see their fathers tussle it out on the pitch.
The biggest surprise of the day came when last season’s 10th placed Tsunamiz run riot against one of the league favorites , Block Owners with a 6-1 score that left the class of 2002 wondering what had just hit them. 
The Zimbaz 06′ had a stalemate score with the Elite 08′, a game many thought was to be a walk through the park for the latter.


Outkasts 05′ took the Cyclones 13′ the youngest team in this year’s edition back to school in a 4-2 goals galore game. No one saw this coming.
The Bushmen 01′ faced the wrath of the Zuluz 09′ assegai spear in a 3-0 game that saw the latter take the bragging rights over their elders.
The Alks 07′ will have their God to thank after snatching a point in a game many thought the Pirates 12′ should have won. 1 all is how it ended
Reigning champions the Devils 04′ came haunting again, this time against league debutants the Kiama 00′ with a 3-1 scoreline that saw last season’s champions start on a high.
MamaTeo 97′ will have to put their craft together next match day after they were humbled by last season’s runners up the Vendors 99′ in a 1-3 score.
It was no love lost in the Mafiaz 11′ Vs Window 03′ game. The Class of 03′ that topped from the bottom last term showed that they mean business this season and out matched their juniors in 1-0 narrow win leaving this season’s title hopefuls the Mafiaz 11′ in disbelief.
The day was sealed off by a networking session at the grounds that saw the old boys, friends and families eat, drink and dance away to Valhalla bar and restaurant music.
Game day two kicks off on September 3rd in another much anticipated showdown that will have the launch of the SMACK league magazine an initiative that is intended to give a better insight about the teams in this season’s edition.

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SMACKISTS LAUNCH SECOND EDITION OF OLD BOYS LEAGUE.By @magero_moses 

In a press conference held on Wednesday evening at Valhalla bar and Restaurant, the Smack league committee briefed the media on the developments of the second edition of the Smack league that kicks off this Sunday at Batvalley Primary School play ground.
The league Chairman Moses Tumusiime shared out the vision of the league which is to make the SMACK Old boy fraternity a well Networked, robust, mutually supportive and healthy community.
He talked of the league as a networking initiative that was born out of the need to catch up on the lost time as old boys of the College.
The aim is to enhance cohesion and nurture a spirit of networking, create a robust social support group of our members avail a mutual business platform, to bolster and increase the outreach of SMACKOBA through providing a platform that allows for regular meeting and engagement and ensure good health through physical exercise, he added.
Tumusiime spoke of the success of the innagural season that had close to 500 OBs unite, create networks and linkeages that will grow in business support.
The Smack League dubbed the best Sunday plot in Kampala will have season 2 kick off this Sunday 20th August at Bat Valley primary School with more action, fun and excitement as the numbers of participating teams have increased from 12 to 16.
Tumusiime spoke about the league giving back to the community through CSR and this season the league will start with Bat Valley Primary School their match hosts, roofing a full block at the school.
Our dream is to have the Smack league become a timeless tradition and we also plan on introducing a league for out WAGs and children by season three, Tumusiime added.


QUICK FACTS ABOUT THE SMACK LEAGUE.
*Class of 2004 devils won the innagural league
*Only the OBs that have completed campus are allowed to register and participate.

* The league is a 9 aside league.
*A team is given a provision to use a maximum of two guest players in case they fail to make the 9 player mark.
*Teams to participate this season are;
MAMA TEO (1997)

VENDORS. (1999)

KIAMA. (2000)

BUSHMEN. (2001)

BLOCK OWNERS (2002)

WINDOW. (2003)

DEVILS. (2004)

OUTCASTS. (2005)

ZIMBAZ. (2006)

ALQZ. (2007)

ELITE. (2008)

ZULUZ. (2009)

TSUNAMIZ. (2010)

MAFIAZ. (2011)

PIRATES. ( 2012)

CYCLONES. (2013)

​NERVES OF STEEL CHEPTEGEI HEADLINES UGANDA’S PERFORMANCE AT LONDON GAMES. By @moses_magero

On Sunday March 26th 2017 the world threw stick at Joshua Cheptegei for running in Italics in the final lap of the senior men World Cross Country Championships that were held in Kololo, Kampala – Uganda.
This was after the lanky athlete bottled what was seen by many as an assured win, losing to Kenya’s Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor and missing out on $30,000 prize money. 
Cheptegei left dignitaries that were present at the championships like President Yoweri Museveni and his wife in amusement on what had just struck the athlete’s surge to glory.
Fast forward August 4th 2017 at the Iaaf World Championships in London, Joshua Cheptegei was handed another opportunity to show his prowess to the world in the 10,000metres category rubbing shoulders with the very best in the sport, the likes of Mo Farah of Great Britain.
Half way into the race Cheptegei surged upfront in similar style that got him punished at the world Cross country Championships in Kampala. 

With confidence written all over his face Cheptegei was all out to show that all that happened before was the past and that he was out to write his name among the great. Keeping tabs with other athletes this time Cheptegei waited for the right moment and struck like a python on it’s prey.

He put up one of the greatest shows in the race category at the games and run for dear life towards the finish line for Silver giving crowd favorite Mo Farah a run for his money. 

It’s evident that Mo Farah cheated Cheptegei of victory after the Briton stepped out of the line twice in the race, an offence punished by automatic elimination of the athlete. But Britain being the organisers of the championship Farah got away with this.

Mental Strength.
Hats off for Cheptegei after all the lashes, criticism he got from the world after his shamble display at Kololo. Like a great sportsman and one not about to let one bad moment define him, he worked his socks off, made ammends with what tormented him then and silenced all the doubters in sheer fashion.


What the win means for Cheptegei and Uganda!

Cheptegei will from now on be seen as a force to reckon with. And the fact that Mo Farah is bowing out from the sport gives him a great chance to take the stage and show his prowess in the coming competitions
His win will attract more sponsorships to the Uganda Athletics Federation and on a bigger stage boost tourism in the Pearl of Africa.

​HOPE FOR THE RUGBY CRANES AFTER A  STELLAR SEASON IN CONTINENTAL CUP.  Magero Moses Mwanje

At the onset of this season’s Rugby Afrique Gold Cup tournament, most of the bookmakers didn’t fancy the rugby cranes to make a mark in the competition.
Most argued that the other teams in the group were miles ahead of the men in black, yellow, red stripes in terms of financial muscle, preparation and management and that the Cranes would need divine intervention to get something if any out of the group.
But thanks to the good shift from the men who put their bodies on the line for 6 games including the Elgon Cup to ensure the Cranes soared high. Not forgetting the coaches who summoned a bunch of players and believed in them despite all criticism.

Elgon Cup

 This was the test match that the coaches needed to gauge who was needed and how prepared the boys were. Uganda being home staked claim in an amazing opening 40 minutes and simply lost it after the resume. They seemed to have been down on mental strength and the neighbors capitalized on this winning 23-18.

Bryan Asaba in action against Kenya

GOLD CUP
It was a no love lost affair, in the 2nd leg of the Elgon Cup that also doubled as the 1st Rugby Africa Gold Cup game. Thanks to the words from the gaffers Robert Seguya and John Duncan that kept pushing the boys. The Cranes run riot and looked so comfortable like they played on home turf. They took the game to the Simbas and when it looked like they had aced this test, Kenya was awarded a penalty try right at the death which will have it’s own debate for another day ensuring the game would end in a stalemate, 33 all.

Next was Senegal in Dakar, the Rugby Cranes who had previously been known for their poor away displays, won 17-16 in what was an ugly, crunchy and nasty encounter that saw the home side finish the game a man less for unsportsmanlike behavior.
Fortune favours the brave and this time Tunisia was at the receiving end. From kick-off, the Cranes obliterated their visitors scoring everytime they got a chance to. 78-17 was the final score, in a performance that sits up there among the team’s greatest ever.
When all things seemed well, boom powerhouse Namibia struck and punished the Cranes 48-24 in Kampala in a game that had Cranes show some beautiful rugby but the team from the South of Africa was simply astonishing on the day.

Captain Brian Odongo leading from the front

Zimbabwe was the last team the lads faced in the competition. After the visitors’ commanding display against Namibia earlier in the tournament, one would have fancied their chances against the cranes but the Rugby cranes had other plans. They simply out matched the boys from Harare. Ending the Africa gold cup on a high.

What the future holds?

The ties had some debutants who had a run out and put in a good shift. Likes of Aaron Ofoyrwoth, Fred ‘Pepe’ Odur, Musa Muwonge, Mula Eric, Aziku Robert, Adnan Mutebi, Mike Otto, Santos were all tried and tested  in the games and the coaches know how each fairs in the chances with the team.

The work now should be on how to build the team around the young blood and the experienced lads.
If the boys stick to the plan, stay grounded and then keep working hard – they surely have all that it takes to make the cut at the bigger stage.

The rugby cranes huddle up before battle

Just like the Captain Brian Odongo echoed, ‘We have shown what we can do it at this stage, we will need more test games to help keep the group together and perfect our style of play.

NAMIBIA SNATCH RUGBY CRANES’ GOLD CUP DREAM.  Reuben Kihumuro 

Yet again, the efforts of the Rugby Cranes seemed so near but yet so far. With the final whistle, Uganda’s 2017 Gold cup aspirations varnished leaving the team awaiting another year to have a go at the coveted Gold cup. There wasn’t to be a historical comeback this time round as was the case in Madagascar 2007 when against the same opponent, the boys rallied back to pip a one point victory that also secured one of Uganda’s biggest rugby achievements. This time, the script had no fairytale ending for the ever growing passionate sport that is rugby in Uganda. 
Prior to this duel, the head to head indicated that the Namibians had won two out of the last three and Uganda with a solitary but very significant win against the former. This campaign has been anything but smooth for the boys and for all the obstacles that they had to overcome, a pat on the back is in order for the job well done as a team, earning the respect of many without a doubt and surely setting a steady foundation on which more progress shall be laid. The kind of noise that Ugandan Rugby has put out this year has undoubtedly got the attention of many and put to shame various critics that seem to think it is a waste of resources (most of whom are ignorant of what the sport is – like the most recent baseless and shallow minded blabbering of a one Aldrine Nsubuga on national radio) 

WHAT WENT WRONG AGAINST NAMIBIA

Speaking to one of Uganda’s greats of the sport after the loss, he mentioned and I quote, “…… Prepare for every battle in equal measure, with the same intensity and will, play your game the best way you know and even in loss you shall leave with your head held high…..”  

These words sank deep as i replayed them  and the 2007 champion made a lot of sense. Uganda seemed to have had a whole different approach to proceedings this time as compared to the week before. Games are won beginning with the preparation and in my opinion, it seems like the tempo was toned down a notch to a more cautious approach and by the time we  realized that their immortal status was a fallacy  and tried to bring the game to them, the score gap had widened beyond what we could chew, not forgetting they are quite efficient, punishing up to 90% of our mistakes. 

I’m sorry for those that this affects but who shall speak of this if not the people that truly care, again in my sincere opinion some of the players were below par, we are all humans and nerves are inevitable but how one curbs their influence is what separates greats from ordinary men. We were victims of failure to control our human nature, the  wingers seemed to have lost the plot defensively, with every phase the Namibians spread to the wing, we got punished, until the hurried (panic) substitutions tried to mend the situation. Surely a moment to forget for the two, sadly Okia having to bow out with an injury as well. 

It will be a grave injustice if I didn’t mention that the very promising Ronald Musajja could and should have been  more active as a back row, the line up showed he was at blindside although he wore the openside shirt (well I got over that), irrespective of shirt number, I felt he was a little too quiet, too pedestrian and out of the action as compared to his fellow back rows. Could it be a problem with fitness, honestly we know he can do better and he needs to show it otherwise we are just sorely missing Marvin Odongo. 

There was a bit of misunderstanding and miscommunication among some of the players. A fair amount of arguments after one or two mistakes seemed to show signs of crumbling in the team, a thing that could have been quelled easily since the game was not yet done. 

Defensively, a lapse in the communication was another observation. How was it that on a number of occasions, the forwards were found at the wing defending against backs, we paid dearly for this constant scenario of mismatch that gifted the visitors a lead that could have otherwise been avoided. 

In addition, it appeared as if there was continued miscommunication between Michael at outside Centre and Lawrence at the wing, a repeated sight of Michael shooting in the defensive press leaving the winger isolated and at the wrong end of a two on one situation. 
Enough of that, the past is the past and can’t be reversed. Looking at the silver lining, the coaching staff can be proud of the depth that has presented itself this year. There was a time when Kevin Makmot’s absence would have sparked a crisis but this campaign, he has been available but barely used due to the competent competition. 

We still have a lot of work to do on how best to prepare “depth players” so as to ensure they are worthy cover. Possibly come up with a program that will revive the Uganda A team, they could travel and play teams from other tiers as the Rugby Cranes do their thing earning them much needed game experience, making them ready when the senior call up comes and avoiding the redundancy of said depth. But the Union can at least pick a positive out of the various players that stood up to be counted this campaign, a major bonus for the sport and the nation at large. 
FOCUS NOW SHIFTS TO ZIMBABWE 
The trophy might be beyond our reach for now but it’s important to finish strongly. Zimbabwe our next guests will visit after a sore home loss to the Kenya Simbas, eager to prove a point as well. An epic encounter this – preview to come.
#RugbyCranes #NaMutima #RugbyAfricaGoldCup 

A build-up: OKIA THROWN IN THE THICK OF BUSINESS – AFRICA GOLD CUP- By: @magero_moses 

In 2014 against Kenya in the 1st leg of the Elgon Cup then, Okia a juvenile at the time who was in his Senior 6 vacation was handed the mantle to start at Full back for the Rugby Cranes. 
The flick feet athlete turned up and produced a game of his life and won the Man Of The Match gong in the tie. He had stamped his name on the hearts of the Rugby faithful. 
Since then the full back cum winger had little to do with the 15s National team. He turned focus to 7s Rugby and was part of the Uganda 7s side that won the Africa Rugby 7s tournament held in Kenya in 2016. 
At the onset of this year’s Rugby Africa Gold Cup tournament, only a handful if any would put their money on Okia running out in the National colours, but the injury bug looming in the Cranes camp has sparked off the return of “MAASO* as many of his friends like to call him.
The player was named on the bench against Tunisia last weekend after Justin Kimono got injured in the wake of the game, and on introduction to the game he touched down winning a spot further more in the hearts of the coaches in his test debut.
Just days after his brilliant cameo against Tunisia, Okia will start against Namibia this Saturday in his what is going to be his first full test debut. 
It remains to be seen whether the winger can replicate the promise he showed in his junior years and also against Tunisia last weekend.

SEGUYA KEEPS FAITH IN HIS u19 CHAMPIONS OF 2014 By: @magero_moses


Ivan Magomu and Aron Ofoirwoth are some of the players that played and won u19 tier 1B in 2014. Photo credit Rugby 256

At the onset of the 2017 Rugby Afrique Gold Cup tournament, many Rugby faithfuls didn’t see the young lads have a go in the games, but Coaches Seguya and Duncan had other plans.
Seguya who is seen by most of the young lads in the squad as a mentor has lived by his promise of bleeding experience and young blood. 
Most of the young lads that have had a run out in the National colours in this year’s Rugby Afrique Gold Cup tournament are those that where Champions in the U19 Rugby Afrique tournament that Uganda hosted and won beating Madagascar in the final thus earning promotion from tier 1B to tier 1A.


Byron Oketayot (standing) carries Pius Ogena after he scored against Tunisia. Photo Credit RUGBY 256

Ivan Magom (Fly half), Mike Otto (Lock), Byron Oketayot (Lock), Aaron Ofoirwoth(Scrum half), Collin Kimbowa (Prop), Pius Ogena(Center/Lock), Solomon Okia(Wing/Fullback) are the lads in the current set up of the senior Rugby Cranes side that were part of the winning team in the U19 Rugby Afrique tournament in 2014 that Seguya coached
These have all earned their spots on the team on merit and when asked about how they feel, they all pledge allegiance to Coach Seguya for believing in them from back then when they played at U 19 level up to now when they can represent the Nation at senior level and they promise not to let him and the country at large down.