It took a resurgent UCU Shepherds side the final 25 minutes of the second half to overturn a 10-point deficit and scoop a vital 13 – 0 win against Sailors Rugby Club in game five of the Rugby Championship League at the New Pitch in UCU.
The Shepherds went down 10 – 0 in the first half after a poor display especially in defence.
The team resumed the second half, a rejuvenated side after a tough talk by Assistant Coach, Leonard Lubambula, during the half-time break. After 20 minutes of tight defence and resolute offensives, Shepherds’ Humphrey Komakech broke away from park to score the Shepherds’ first try before missing the conversion at 65 minutes into the game.
Five minutes later, Rodney Ankunda made the second try to level matters at 10 all before Komakech slotted in the conversion to make the score 12 – 10.
The excitement did not last long for the Shepherds fans as moments later the Sailors slotted in a penalty to take the game to 13 – 0 resulting from poor handling in the defence.
However, all hope was not lost as the hosts won a penalty of their own two minutes to the end of the game.
Ivan Orach stepped up to drill the ball between the posts and eventually handed the Shepherds a win, 15 – 13.
Lubambula blamed the terrible half on over -confidence on the side of his players. “We started off with a bad first half because the boys underestimated the opponents,” he said.
“There is also poor turn-up to training sessions because of the tricky lectures timetable which makes it hard for us to gel during games. We shall use the elections break to regroup and plan for our next game,” Lubambula added.
The result leaves the Shepherds second on the table with 12 points and 7 behind Stallions Rugby Club who top the league with three games to go till the half-season break in March.
The Rugby Championship League is a second tier league after the Nile Premiership with the top two teams qualifying for the main league playoffs.