Maiden trophy for Cardovillis and Kabras Sugar

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Oct 23, 2017
  • Charles Cardovillis steered Kabras Sugar to their first KRU National Sevens overall trophy. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Charles Cardovillis who began his stint with Kabras by clinching the Kenya Rugby Union National Sevens Circuit title spoke with SNA before the second tournament, the George Mwangi Kabeberi Memorial Sevens.

He was confident with the progress of the team and predicted trophies will come. Cardovillis was bold when he acknowledged the tough competition but predicted a tight finish which will have the millers in the equation.

Therefore it came as no surprise when Kabras Sugar won the play-off to dethrone last year's champions Homeboyz who beat Kenya Commercial Bank to win Dala Sevens. 

After the win, Cardovillis had few words:"It's big for me. New club, new players, big win."

But, the cript could have been different. Kabras Sugar led by five points against Impala and the arithmetic was complex. Impala who finished third dropped out of the equation after losing to Blak Blad in the cup quarter final.

KCB's good run favored the top three teams after Nakuru RFC and Menengai OIlers together with Kenya Harlequin FC, Strathmore University and Mwamba failed to travel to Kisumu citing security concerns.

The overall winner was decided in the last two matches of the day when Kabras beat Blak Blad in the play off and Homeboyz won the title.

After the loss to KCB in the cup semis, Cardovillis rallied his charges. "They just needed to realize what was at stake. It wasn't straight forward against Blak Blad but they got a result," the coach stated.

The occasion got to the players

Did they underrate KCB, a team they had previously beaten twice? "Not underrated. I think the occasion got to the players," Cardovillis answered.

The agenda for Cardovillis at Kabras was to develop young players and tap talent from the region and wide. Last year, Kabras had a sprinkle of players from Fiji although the new coach believes there's enough talent in Kenya.

Good preparations even after the start of the Circuit was shelved paid dividends. Kabras Sugar had a good mix of youth and experience with Philip Wokorach, Dan Sikuta and Brian Tanga forming the fulcrum on which the team pivoted.

In the Dala Sevens final. former team-mates at KCB, Dennis Mwanja (KCB) and Paul Murunga (Homeboyz) clashed. Homeboyz had been in the driving seat up until Christie Sevens when Kabras assumed lead.

Homeboyz won 12-10. Ahmed Shaban scored the opening try for KCB before Homeboyz replied with a try by Oscar Okaron which Michael Wanjala converted for a 7-5 lead.

In the second half, Jeff Oluoch extended the lead 12-5 for Homeboyz with a try.  Arthur Owira scored an unconverted try for KCB.

In the playoff, Kabras Sugar bounced back to beat Blak Blad 19-7, a win which secured them the overall title. 

Fidel Oloo scored a converted try before the students were awarded a penalty try to draw level. 

Dan Sikuta returned from the naughty chair to break the deadlock as Kabras Sugar led 12-7. Felix Kayange scored the third try which clinched the match and overall title.

Impala finished fifth after beating Western Bulls 17-12 

Semi-final matches

Kenya Commercial Bank and Homeboyz won their semi-final matches to advance to the final. 

KCB defeated Kabras Sugar 12-5 while Homeboyz rallied from behind to beat Blak Blad 22-7. Shaban Ahmed scored two tries one of which was converted with Philip Wokorach scoring the consolation try for Kabras Sugar.

In the second semi-final, Blak Blad scored a try through Levi Amunga before Charles Omondi crossed the line and Mike Wanjala. Bush Mwale, Cyprian Kuto and Jeff Oluoch scored additional tries for Homeboyz.

The arithmetic could not have been more complicated at this stage.

Homeboyz needed to win the final against KCB to exert pressure on Kabras also needed to win the play-off against Blak Blad.

A win for KCB would have handed the the overall trophy to Kabras Sugar.

If Homeboyz won the final, they collected 100 points and if Blak Blad defeated Kabras Sugar in the play off, they would have collected 100 points.

The winner would have been decided  by the number of tries scored in the whole circuit.

Main Cup Quarters: Kabras Sugar 26 Western Bulls 0, KCB 36 Webuye 5,  Impala 10 Blak Blad 17; Semi-finals: Kabras Sugar 5 KCB 12, Homeboyz 22 Blak Blad 7; Final: KCB 10 Homeboyz 12.

3/4 playoff: Kabras Sugar 19 Blak Blad 7. 

5/6 playoff: Western Bulls 29 Webuye RFC 5, Makueni 5 Impala 15; Final: Western Bulls 12 Impala 17.

Challenge Trophy quarters

Kisumu 7 UoE 17, Catholic University 29 Egerton 0, Masinde Muliro University 5 Daystar University 21, Kisii RFC 24 Mt. Kenya Univ., Thika 5; Semi-finals: UoE 0 Catholic University 17, Daystar University 15 Kisii RFC 10; Final: Catholic University 21 Daystar University 7.

13th place playoff semis: Kisumu 10 Egerton 5, Masinde Muliro University 10 Mt. Kenya Univ., Thika 12; Final: Kisumu 12 Mt. Kenya Univ., Thika 10.