Hosts Mwamba drop to Challenge Trophy, upsets galore on day one

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Sep 10, 2017
  • Impala's Leon Adongo leads the charge in one of the matches. The Red Shirts needed a last-gasp win against Menengai Oilers to reach the cup quarters. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Zeden Marrow of Homeboyz breaks through a tackle against Daystar University on their way to topping Pool A unbeaten. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Horace 'Jakom' Otieno gets the attention of Homeboyz in the opening match which Mwamba lost 14-22 to eventually drop to the Trophy Challenge. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Homeboyz, winners of the opening Kenya Rugby Union National Sevens Circuit tournament, Driftwood Sevens, kept a clean sheet on the opening day of the George Mwangi Kabeberi Sevens.

The day was marked by upsets which saw Impala beaten by Blak Blad and miraculously qualified for the main cup quarter finals after grinding a 15-12 wion over Menengai Oilers who had already qualified.

This was almost the must win situation last week in Mombasa when they needed a win against KCB to qualify. For the second time, they climbed out of a deep hole they had dug for themselves by edging out Menengai Oilers 15-12.

The face KCB in the cup quarter finals on Sunday. 

There was no fairy tale run for Mean Machine and Nakuru RFC who dropped to the Challenge Trophy.

On Saturday, Homeboyz set the pace with a 22-14 win over hosts Mwamba RFC. Cyprian Kuto scored twice for a 10-0 lead before Alex Aturo scored off a cross kick. Martin Wanjia converted as the hosts trailed 7-10 at half time.

On resumption, Jeff Oluoch scored twice and Michael Wanjala landed one conversion to stretch the lead 22-7. Mwamba rallied back with a try by Horace Otieno and Wanjia converted.

Homeboyz then despatched Daystar University 22-0 and Nondies 35-12.

Unpredictable nature

Signs of the unpredictable nature of the shorter version of the game started in the second match when Nondies rallied back to share the spoils with Daystar University 12-12.

Kenya Commercial Bank were a different outfit on the opening day with a near flawless display which saw them concede only 10 points.

They easily overcame Nakuru, last weekends main cup finalists 29-5 in their first match before powering past Daystar University 22-0 and despatching Kisii RFC 26-5.

In their opening match against Nakuru, Jacob Ojee scored the first try and Ahmed Shaban converted for a 7-0 lead. Shaban, the former Mwamba player added the seond try and a conversion before Arthur Owira scored the third as the bankers led 19-0 at the break.

On resumption, Monate Akwei scored a consolation try for Nakuru before Ojee and Owira completed their brace of tries.Blak Blad blew hot and cold. The bankers reached the cup quarter finals  by beating Kenya Harlequin FC 29-0. 

Stafford Abeka created the first try for Shabaan. A penalty try saw them 14-0 up and Ojee scored the third try to extend the lead 19-0. Martin Owilla and Arthur Owira scored a try each for the win.

Mwamba, after losing the opening match had pressure to win the second match against Nondies to have any realistic chance of reaching the main cup quarters.

Numerical advantage

Steve Sikuta scored a converted try for Mwamba. But, When Horace Otieno was sent to the chair, Nondies used the numerical advantage to score a try through James Odong for a 7-7 halftime score.

Ronnie Omondi regained the lead for Mwamba before Odong scored under the sticks to re-take the lead 14-12. Daniel Taabu restored Mwamba's lead but a last gasp try by Odong confined Mwamba to the Challenge Trophy.

Kisii RFC produced the first upset by edging out Nakuru RFC 14-12. It was the Rift Valley-based side who led 12-7 before Kisii bounced back with a try under the posts for the lead to change hands 14-12 at the interval.

The upsets continued with Blak Blad beatin Impala 21-7. It was Impala who struck first with a converted try by Ian Minjire before Blak Blad leveled through Franz Obudo. Steve Biko added two tries for Blak Blad to seal the win.

Impala had their backs against the wall and needed a win against Menengai Oilers to reach the main cup quarter final. This was almost the must win situation last week when they needed a win against KCB to qualify.

For the second time, they climbed out of a deep hole they had dug for themselves by edging out Menengai Oilers 15-12. 

George Mwangi Kabeberi Memorial Sevens 

Day one results

Pool A: Homeboyz, Nondies, Mwamba, Daystar University; Homeboyz 22 Mwamba 14, Nondies 12 Daystar University 12, Homeboyz 22 Daystar University 0, Nondies 19 Mwamba 17, Mwamba 12 Daystar University 12, Homeboyz 35 Nondies 12.

Pool B: Nakuru, Quins, KCB, Kisii; Nakuru RFC 5 KCB 29, Quins 19 Kisii RFC 15, Nakuru RFC 12 Kisii RFC 14, Quins 0 KCB 29,  KCB 26 Kisii RFC 5, Nakuru 0 Quins 12.

Pool C: Menengai Oliers, Impala, Blak Blad, Catholic University; Menengai Oilers 36 Blak Blad 7, Impala RFC 26 Catholic University 0, Menengai Oilers 47 Catholic University 7, Impala 7 Blak Blad 21, Menengai Oilers 12 Impala 15.

Pool D: Mean Machine, Kabras, Strathmore University, Makueni; Mean Machine 10 Strathmore University 19, Kabras 24 Makueni 0, Mean Machine 10 Makueni 14, Kabras 28 Strathmore University 7, Blak Blad 26 Catholic University 12, Strathmore University 19 Makueni 5, Mean Machine 5 Kabras 7.

Main Cup quarter finals

Homeboyz v Strathmore University (10.50), Menengai Oilers v Quins (11.10), Kabras v Nondies (11.30), KCB v Impala (11.50). 

Challenge Trophy quarter finals

Daystar University v Mean Machine (9.30),  Blak Blad v Nakuru RFC (9.50), Makueni v Mwamba (10.10), Kisii RFC v Catholic University (10.30).

Compiled from KRU