Series is tough, Olago

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Aug 06, 2014
  • Curtis Olago predicts the KRU National Sevens Circuit will be tough. KCB are the top seeds in Kisumu which hosts Dala Sevens at Mamboleo Showground.

  • Hosts Kisumu RFC which has produced some of the best national team players have their backs against the wall when Dala Sevens kicks off on Saturday at Mamboleo Showground.

Curtis Olago, coach of Kenya Commercial Bank RFC who won the George Mwangi Kabeberi memorial seven-a-side tournament at the Nairobi Railway Club last weekend has acknowledged the toughness of the Series.

After clinching the Kabeberi Sevens title, the first tournament of the Kenya Rugby Union National Sevens Circuit, Olago said: “We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. It is a difficult series and we just want to keep working.”

The bankers who won the overall title last season and are on a 26-match unbeaten streak are the top seeds in Dala Sevens. Their last defeat in the shorter version of the game was on August 11, 2013 when they lost to Impala Saracens 12-24 in the Kabeberi Sevens quarter final.

They have since bagged four tournament titles in succession and are keen to dethrone Strathmore University who won dala Sevens last year. KCB have not won Dala Sevens since 2006 are drawn in Pool A which also has Nondescripts RUFC, Mwamba and Technical University of Kenya.

Dala Sevens could see some of the national seven-a-side players join the action after the completion of Commonwealth Games. Strathmore University could see the return of Billy Odhiambo, Michael Wanjala and Tony Owuor.

Quins are unlikely to benefit from the return of their national team players because Patrick Agunda and Felix Ayange are injured. But, Sidney Obonyo who guided a youthful team to last weekends final remained positive in a Pool B which has Nakuru RFC, Daystar University and Egerton University.

“I have a young side that can only get better. I am not scared. A competition is a competition. The team is fired up t go all the way,” he said. Some of the players in the Quins' line up are Kevin Keegan and Maxwell Theuri.

Tricky pool

Homeboyz who surrendered the Kabeberi Sevens title to KCB have a tricky Pool C with Western Bulls, Catholic University and hosts Kisumu RFC. Paul Murunga, the Homeboyz coach is hopeful.

“The boys have been regrouping after losing our Kabeberi title and hopefully we can bounce back in Kisumu,” he hinted.

Mwamba are looking forward to the return of Collins Injera, Michael Agevi and Dennis Ombachi but will miss the services of Humphrey Kayange who is injured. Nondies could have in their ranks Biko Adema and KCB Andrew Amonde.

Hosts Kisumu RFC have their backs against the wall after a drab performance at Kabeberi Sevens and face Homeboyz, Catholic University and Western Bulls.

Historically, Kisumu RFC has launched the rugby careers of many players among them Amonde, Victor Oduor, Teddy Omondi, Jacob Ojee and Lavin Asego among others.

Dala Sevens was first hosted in May 2003. Ulinzi RFC won the inaugural tournament before they were disbanded. Because of financial constraints, the event was not staged in 2007 and 2008 but was returned to the circuit in 2009.

Kisumu City is one of the most popular legs of the circuit only rivaled by Mombasa which hosts the Driftwood Sevens. This year’s event will be staged at the Mamboleo Showground for the first time away from the traditional Kisumu Polytechnic ground.

Dala Sevens Draw

Pool A: KCB, Mwamba RFC, Nondescripts RUFC, TUK; Pool B: Kenya Harlequin FC, Nakuru RFC, Daystar University, Egerton University; Pool C: Homeboyz, Catholic University, Western Bulls, Kisumu RFC; Pool D: Strathmore University, Impala Saracens, Blak Blad, Mean Machine.

Day one order of play

KCB v Nondies (10 am), Mwamba v TUK (10.18), Quins v Daystar (10.36), Nakuru v Egerton (10.54), Homeboyz v Western Bulls (11.12), Catholic University v Kisumu RFC (11.30), Strathmore University v Blak Blad (12.06), KCB v TUK (12.24), Mwamba v Nondies (12.42), Quins v Egerton University (1 pm), Nakuru RFC v Daystar University (1.18), Homeboyz v Kisumu RFC (1.36), Catholic University v Western Bulls (1.54), Strathmore University v Mean Machine (2.12), Impala Saracens v Blak Blad (2.30), Nondies v TUK (2.48), Daystar University v Egerton University (3.06), Western Bulls v Kisumu RFC (3.24), Blak Blad v Mean Machine (3.42), KCB v Mwamba (4 pm), Quins v Nakuru RFC (4.18), Homeboyz v Catholic University (4.36), Strathmore University v Impala Saracens (4.54). Past winners: Ulinzi (2003), Impala (2004), Quins (2005), KCB (2006), 2007-2008 (not played), Nakuru (2009), Mwamba (2010 and 2011), Quins (2012), Strathmore University (2013). Division II