• A Moment for Silence at Bamburi For Abedeen

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  • The late Abeeden Shikoyi will be honoured during the Bamburi Super Series opening matches this weekend.(Photo:File)The late Abeeden Shikoyi will be honoured during the Bamburi Super Series opening matches this weekend.(Photo:File)
May 04, 2012-

Teams playing at the 10th bamburi Rugby Super Series which kicks off on Saturday in Nairobi, Kampala and Mombasa have been asked to observe a minute’s silence in memory of Abedeen Shikhoyi, the women’s rugby captain who died last week. Shikhoyi will be buried next weekend.

There are two matches at the Rugby Football Union of East Africa ground where SDV Transami Cheetahs play Nguvu Sharks from 2 pm paving way for the match between Rhinos and Victoria from Uganda at 4 pm.

Both matches will be shown live on SuperSport 9. Cheetahs is made up of players from Impala, Nondescripts RUFC and and Homeboyz who play in Kenya Cup and also have additional players from Comras and Multi-Media University.

The Cheetahs won their first title in 2004, repeating this feat in 2006 and are yet to add to this tally, losing in two successive finals in 2010 and 2011.

They couldn’t have asked for a more difficult fixture, as their opponents on the day , the Nguvu Sharks, which has players from Kenyan universities are a formidable outfit. Some of the players are drawn from Mean Machine, Strathmore University and Kenyatta University.

Theirs are Catholic University, Daystar, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, KCA University, Kenya Polytechnic, Africa Nazarene University and the United Sates International University-Africa.

The Cheetahs’ squad boasts of plenty of experience, Impala’s evergreen duo of Frank Ndong and Moses Kola alongside Nondies backrow man Ben Nyambu who have all had great experiences at this stage.

The debutants, notably Steve Sakwa who recently earned his first national cap during the Elgon Cup’s first leg fixture in Kampala and his Homeboyz team mate Leonard Mugaisi will add diversity to the Cheetahs.

Add to this the tested players like Lawrence Buyachi, Leslie Ochieng, Duncan Ekasi, Nato Simiyu, Ronnie Mwenesi and Kevin Umbuge and the Cheetahs look like a formidable side. Casting our eyes to Saturday’s fixture, fans will be a treat to a repeat of last year’s semi final. The Cheetahs proceeded to the final from that one, courtesy of a 22-7 win over the Sharks.

This is bound to be an interesting match as Sharks’ Joel Omer comes up against his team mates at Impala among other great match ups.

This match will pave way for defending champions UAP Rhinos’ clash against Ugandan side Victoria at 4.00pm. The Rhinos will be looking to carry on with their dominance over Ugandan opposition that has seen them win all their fixtures against their next door neighbours.

Victoria, semi finalists in 2010, had a disappointing outing last year by their standards, failing to make it past the pool stages.

Matches between the neighbours have been explosive over the last years. Victoria houses the Uganda champions, MTN Heathens while the Rhinos have Kenyan Champions, Kenya Harlequin FC and Menengai Oil Nakuru in their ranks.

Uganda’s Rwenzori host Mumias Sugar Buffaloes at the Kampala RUFC grounds, as they look to improve on what was a great outing for them last year where they finished third and unveiled 2011 BRSS top try scorer Justin Kimono to the world. Rwenzori fell to eventual winners Rhinos at the semi final.

This will be the second time the two are facing off, last year Rwenzori beat the Buffaloes 28-17 at the Mumias Sports complex.

The Mumias Sugar Buffaloes have come a long way from the inexperienced franchise that failed to win a single game last year. Since then, Kisumu RFC have gone through a whole season at Kenya’s top flight the Kenya Cup and the Western Bulls have put in great performances in the second tier Eric Shirley Shield.

It is safe to say that the Rwenzori will not be facing the same Buffaloes side they faced a year ago. Lions travel to Mombasa to face the Coastal Bulls, it will be the second time they are making this trip.

Last year a Dennis Mwanja inspired the Lions to a 36-8 win over their hosts. This was however the only win for the Lions in last year’s edition and they will be hoping that another win here will start off a different set of fortunes for them.

The Coastal Bulls are boosted by a host of guest players and will be looking to cause an upset. The Bulls have the likes of Benjamin Ojema and Sebastian Shivoka in their ranks. The pair who play for KCB will know how to handle most of the Lions players thus making for interesting match ups on the field of play.

Fixtures Pool A: Cheetahs v Sharks 2.00pm RFUEA, Nairobi (Live on DSTV) Coastal Bulls v Lions, 4.30pm Mombasa Sports Club, Mombasa Pool B: Rhinos v Victoria 4.00pm, RFUEA, Nairobi (Live on DSTV) Rwenzori v Buffaloes 4.00pm, Kampala RUFC, Kampala (live on DSTV)

Kru

Eric Odanga

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