Dala Sevens could be switched to Nakuru

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Oct 16, 2017
  • Kabras Sugar have opened a five-point lead at the top of the table and must reach the final of Dala Sevens to win the overall title. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Impala reached their third final of the Series and are now second in the overall standings. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Philip Wokorach of Kabras Sugar who plays in the Uganda Cranes' Sevens team is one of the standout players with deft footwork, pace and wit. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Dala Sevens, the last tournament of the Kenya Rugby Union National Sevens Circuit tournament could be switched to Nakuru.

A decision will be reached before Wednesday.  

There is a big stake at Dala Sevens, the last tournament in this year's Kenya Rugby Union National Sevens Circuit.

Get out your calculators because it's down to arithmetic. In the run down Dala Sevens, there have been some common thems two of these are: A lot can change in a week; Don't underrate any team!

Mean Machine set the pace at the Driftwood Sevens and the theme continued at Christie Sevens when Daystar University stunned Menengai Oilers on the opening day.

A resurgence of Kenya Harlequin FC at Christie Sevens and four different winners in the opening tournaments demonstrated a change between each of the tournaments.

For the first time, Homeboyz - the overall defending champions - were knocked off the top by a resilient Kabras Sugar. After Christie Sevens, they dropped to the third spot.

Such is the tight competition at the top. Kabras Sugar opened a five-point lead after Christie Sevens but, the difference between the top six teams is just eight points!

Second-placed Impala are only two points ahead of Homeboyz who are third. There is a five-points difference between Homeboyz (3) and Nakuru (4th). Also five points difference between Nakuru (4th) and Menengai Oilers (5th). 

It's down to one point between Menengai Oilers (5th) and KCB (6th). 

Therefore, any slip at the top could significantly change the order which is why the various technical benches have their calculators out. Each match at Dala Sevens would be important.

Championship time

The top seven teams MUST qualify for the main cup quarter finals. It is the benchmark because they weill be assured of at least 10 points. It becomes tricky after this stage because, it will be championship time if Kabras Sugar proceed to the final.

They will have secured 19 points and even if their nearest challenger Impala win Dala Sevens, Kabras will have 104 points and Impala 102.

There are other scenarios which include Kabras droping out at the quarter final which will begin a new cycle of calculations depending on who goes through. 

Homeboyz who have been in the driving seat will reach 100 points if they win dala Sevens. To retain the title, the top seven teams must lose at the quarter final of the main cup! But, these teams should also not pick any more points in the playoffs.

Working out the permutations can get one dizzy bot you have a tip of the scenario which is not engraved on a stone.

At Christie Sevens, Kabras did what they had to do to realize their dream of a maiden title stayed on course. Drawn in a tough pool (on paper), Kabras progressed to the final and won.

They became the only team to have won two tournaments back to back this season and have lost only one match in their 12.

Charles Cardovillis, the Kabras Sugar coach reflected on the Pool: "The pool was always going to be tough. Our goal was to get in the quarters. We lost to Quins at death but the boys regrouped and we did well on day two."

They will be regrouping on uesday for the next assault. "Preparation for Dala Sevens will be more mental than anything," he adds.

With the exception of Jacob Okumba who was injured on the opening daye, Cardovillis has the squad intact. "We have had a good Series with minimal injuries as a result of a good pre-season build up,' the coach admitted.

Wokorach is sheer class

One of the key players at Kabras Sugar is Philip Wokorach. "That boy is sheer class," says Cardovillis. 

What could have gone unnoticed is that Kenya is home to four Ugandans who are in the Cranes' national Sevens team. Besides Wokorach, Joseph Oredo, Solomon Okiya and Aaron Oforywoth (15's) are at Kenya Harlequin FC, James Odong at Nondescripts RUFC.

Kenya and Uganda are in the same pool of Dubai Sevens, the opening tournament of the World Rugby Sevens World Series.

In the final against Impala, Kabras Sugar just stopped their opponents. "WE stopped then from playing, stifled their attack and worked on getting the ball to our strike players," Cardovillis disclosed.

One of those strike players wa Wokorach who was elusive against some of the players in the Kenya national team representing their clubs.

Top seeds Kabras Sugar successfully defended the Christie Sevens title by beating Impala 19-7 in the final at the Rugby Footnball Union of East Africa ground on Sunday.

Leo Seje's converted try set the pace as Impala led 7-0. But, Philip Wokorach replied for Kabras Sugar with some deft footwork on his way to the try line. Brian Tanga missed the conversion as Impala led 7-5 at the break.

They sprinted off the starting blocks in the second half and Dan Sikuta barged over. Wokorach added the extras for the lead to change hands 12-7 for the sugar millers.

Malik Habil was next over with an instinctive try which Wokorach converted. Kabras became the first side to win two titles after the first four went to different teams.

Kabras reached the final by beating Nakuru RFC 19-12. Gramwell Bunyasi scored a try which saw Nakuru lead 7-0. Philip Wokorach replied with a try which Dominic Osino converted to level 7-7.

Wokorach broke the deadlock and Brian Tanga crossed the line under the sticks as Kabras surged to a 19-7 lead at halftime. On resumption, Oscar Ouma scored the second try for Nakuru but Kabras held out for the win.

Ngong Road derby

Impala booked a date with Kabras in the final by edging out hosts Quins 17-10 in a Ngong Road Derby. Mark Kwemoi opened the scores for Impala and Maxwell Theuri replied for Quins to level terms 5-5.

Eden Agero exploited space in the Impala ranks and accelerated to score the second try. Eric Shikuku missed the conversion as Quins led 10-5.

For the second time, the teams were square 10-10 after Sam Oliech  powered over. Richard Sidindi broke the deadlock with a converted try under the posts.

Nakuru finished third after edging out hosts Quins 12-5 in the playoff. Nelson 'Wheels' Oyoo scored a converted try for Nakuru who led 7-0 at half time. Quins replied with a James Oredo try before Don Oluoch added the second try for Nakuru. 

Mwamba finished fifth by beating KCB 21-10. It was KCB who scored the first try through Essau Otieno before Mwamba replied with a converted try by Ronnie Omondi.

Humphrey Kayange was next over to stretch the lead 14-5. Ahmed Shaban, a former Mwamba player scored the second try for KCB to narrow the scores 14-10 in Mwamba's favor.

Omondi completed his brace which was converted for the final score.  Nondies defeated Western Bulls 34-14 to win the Challenge Trophy.

Earlier, Nakuru threw wide the National Sevens Circuit wide open after beating Homeboyz 17-12 in the cup quarter final. Oyoo released Gramwell Bunyasi who scored at the left after selling an expensive dummy. 

Geoff Ominde scored the second try but Don Oluoch missed the conversion as Nakuru led 10-0 at halftime.

On resumption, Monate Akwei went over after sustained pressure. Ominde converted to stretch the lead 17-0 before Jeff Oluoch replied for Homeboyz. They added a second but it was not enough as Nakuru set a date with Kabras.

Kabras survived a late rally

Kabras survived a late rally by KCB to reach the cup semis aftwe winning 24-15. Kelvin Kobole's converted try saw Kabras go up 7-0. Wokorach kicked and chased to score the second. He converted for a 14-0 lead.

Dominic Osino landed the third as Kabras led 19-0 at the break.

After the interval, KCB replied with a try through Jacob Ojee but Wokorach completed his brace for a 24-5 lead. 

Ojee showed a clear pair of heel to Paul Abuto and Fidel Oloo to score his second and narrow the gap 24-10 in favor of Kabras. Essau Otieno also scored late for the bankers.

Impala reached the cup semi-final with a 22-0 win over Mwamba. Try scorers for Impala were Samuel Motari, Davis Makori, Erick Kerre and Tim Makiya. Mark Kwemoi added one conversion for Impala who led 10-0 at halftime.

Quins overcame a Menengai Oliers' jinx by winning 19-7 to reach the semi-final. Samuel Muregi's converted try saw Menengai Oilers lead 7-0 at halftime.

On resumption. Joseph Oredo conveted a try by Eric Shikuku to level for Quins. He converted David Ambunya's try for Quins to go up 14-7. Solomon Okiya scored the third try for Quins to lead 19-7 for the score.

Overall standings: Kabras 85, Impala 80, Homeboyz 78, Nakuru 73, Menengai Oilers 68, KCB 67, Quins 57, Strathmore University 50, Mwamba 43, Nondies 32, Mean Machine 31, Western Bulls 27, Blak Blad 26, Catholic University 9, Mt. Kenya University, Thika 9, Kisii 5, Daystar University 4, Makueni 3, Mombasa 2, KCA-U 1. 

Day two results

Cup quarter finals: Quins 19 Menengai Oilers 7, Mwamba 0 Impala 22, KCB 15 Kabras Sugar 24, Nakuru 17 Homeboyz 12; Semi-finals: Quins 10 Impala 17, Kabras 19 Nakuru 12; Final: Impala 7 Kabras 19.

Playoff: Nakuru 12 Quins 5.

5/6th place semis: Menengai Oilers 17 Mwamba 27, KCB 12 Homeboyz 7; Final: Mwamba 21 KCB 10.

Challenge Trophy quarter finals: Mt. Kenya Univ., Thika 0 Blak Blad 22, Western Bulls 12 Mean Machine, Daystar University 0 Strathmore University 41, Kisii RFC 14 Nondies 21; Semi finals: Blak Blad 12 Western Bulls 24, Strathmore University 21 Nondies 33; Final: Western Bulls 14 Nondies 34.  

13th place semis: Mt. Kenya Univ., Thika 12 Mean Machine 10, Daystar University 14 Kisii RFC 17; Final: Mt. Kenya Univ., Thika 21 Kisii RFC 12. 

Day one results

Pool A: Kabras, Kenya Harlequin FC, Strathmore University, Mt. Kenya Univ., Thika; Kabras 38 Strathmore University 7, Quins 38 Mt. Kenya Univ., Thika 12, Kabras 34 Mt. Kenya Univ., Thika 5, Quins 19 Strathmore University 10, Strathmore University 7 Mt. Kenya Univ., Thika 10, Kabras 24 Quins 26.

Pool B: Impala, Nakuru, Mean Machine, Kisii RFC; Impala 36 Mean Machine 15, Nakuru 29 Kisii RFC 10, Impala 34 Kisii RFC 12, Nakuru 12 Mean Machine 7, Mean Machine 7 Kisii RFC 20, Impala 5 Nakuru 7. Pool C: Homeboyz, Western Bulls, Mwamba, Nondescripts RUFC; Homeboyz 15 Mwamba 22, Western Bulls 17 Nondies 15, Homeboyz 52 Nondies 7, Western Bulls 7 Mwamba 30, Mwamba 26 Nondies 26, Homeboyz 12 Western Bulls 0.

Pool D: Menengai Oilers, KCB, Blak Blad, Daystar University; Menengai Oilers 12 Blak Blad 7, KCB 24 Daystar University 0, Menengai Oilers 14 Daystar University 19, KCB 24 Blak Blad 0, Blak Blad 19 Daystar University 19, Menengai Oilers 14 KCB 15. 

Compiled from KRU

Addittional reporting by The Punter