Kampala — Rhinos' 2-1 win over Weatherhead in the women's National Hockey League (NHL) last weekend is a sign of how much the side has grown over the last few months, not really in terms of results but general play.
Rhinos broke away from Kampala Hockey Club (KHC) at the start of the season and had before last Sunday lost all six games conceding 21 goals and scoring three in a 4-3 first round loss to Deliverance Church of Uganda (DCU).
In the first round 3-0 loss to Weatherhead, they put up a spirited fight - as they have done in all games - in a goalless first half before waning physically to concede all three goals in the second half.
It can even be argued they put up an even better effort in their 5-0 loss to Wananchi than say KHC Swans and DCU that lost 11-0 and 7-2 respectively to the defending champions. The scores in their losses certainly don't tell the whole story.
Weatherhead was definitely a weaker force last weekend without midfielder Siddy Alum, who departed for Dubai last week to seek greener pastures but take nothing away from Rhinos, who welcomed back the experienced Helen Buteme in that games
"It was a tough game but the kids battled and pulled it off. I loved their persistence and energy," Buteme said, evidently downplaying her own impact on the game.
Make no mistake, the presence of Buteme, who was a contender for Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the league last season and her sister Susan Khainza does not suddenly turn Rhinos into title contenders and their next win might not come any time soon.
The larger part of their squad that mostly includes students from from Kololo SS, Old Kampala, Naguru High and East Kololo Primary is still a work in progress.
"We cannot get ahead of ourselves. The team is still young and we are still keeping the patience but this win will be a huge boost," Khainza said.