With just five games left for the Nile Special rugby league season 2023 to see its end, fans and players alike are gearing up for a well-deserved two weeks break.
After three months of intense competition, it looks just the best time for teams to take a step back and recharge before the closing fixtures of the season are played.
Coaches will be hoping to review game footages and analyzing their strategies, while players will be working on their fitness and skills in preparation for the finalizing games.
So far, the season has been an exciting one, with some of the top teams in the league battling it out for the coveted league title.
From surprise upsets to dramatic comebacks, not leaving out emotional face offs, there have been plenty of moments that have kept fans on the edge of their seats.
One of the standout teams this season has been the defending champions, Heathens, who have managed to stay patient from the start and were finally able to attain the top most spot on the league log despite tough competition from their dominant and somewhat unstoppable rivals Kobs and Pirates.
With a strong roster of talented players and a top-notch coaching staff, they have set the bar high for the rest of the league.
But they’re not the only team that have been making the headlines. Several other teams have also had an impressive season this far.
The Kobs, after running at the top for so long and despite losing their league lead, have put up great displays throughout the season. Being the side with the most points scored this season, they are still in the contest for the title and have now been tasked to try and win all their remaining games if they are to stand a chance at winning this one.
Stanbic Black Pirates on the other hand, have been the top three side to have lost most bonus points and have lowest points difference, putting them at a disadvantage in regards to the chase for the title. They are now levelled in points with Kobs and are placed third. Imperative to say is how they’ve also been exceptional in their games and clearly, at this stage of the season , they too are still in the race for the title.
Buffaloes,who now find themselves in the top four after a tough fight. They started off the season in shambles but now look to have settled comfortably and having the best time in the competition. The league title might be a little out of their reach but they are securing their position which looks to be under threat by the Jinja Hippos.
Hippos, fourth,may have had some disappointments at the beginning of the season. The Jinja side has made sure to rectify their mistakes and have earned positively from their efforts. By giving tough opposition to some of the best sides in the league and costing them crucial points, Hippos have made sure to make their presence known.
Impis started the season with plausible momentum, going in for a five-game winning streak that saw them sit at their highest table position in so long (second position) before falling to Heathens. They have since struggled to be consistent in their performance, and dropped from the top four to now settle at the sixth position.
Mongers have also gained stability, placed seventh and having some great game shows this season. One notable one being their recent encounter against Impis which saw them emerge victorious. A victory that had sent them leave a mark in the minds of those that had written them off of the season’s impressive sides.
Walukuba, after attaining promotion into the top tier league, have surpassed everyone’s expectations with their brilliant performance that has them eighth on the log.
It’s usually thought at the beginning of the season that the promoted side will last just a season in the top league, but this Walukuba side surely looks to have come to stay for some good time.
Rhinos are also having a non desirable season, and still find themselves in the relegation zone even after a much needed win against their partners in the red zone- Rams. They might have put up a gap between them and Rams but with five games left to play in the season, they are not as secure as it might look.
Rams, who are yet to win a game this season, are last in the league. Standing the highest risk of relegation and have to find a way to move themselves out of the red zone. Their best performances this season have with no doubt been against their home rivals, Impis, Pirates, and Rhinos.
But even with such brilliant performances, they were with no luck as they still failed to secure wins for themselves.
As they go into this break, teams will therefore be taking stock of their performance to this point and looking for ways to improve towards the closing end. With this break, teams and their management will look for ways to come back into the last five games improved and chasing for better results and favourable positioning in the league rankings.
The league resumes on 15th April for match day 14.