Dala Sevens could define 7's Series

Aug 30, 2021
  • Dala Sevens could see an influx of national team players donning club collors for the first time. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Dala Sevens, the fourth round of the Kenya Rugby Union National Sevens Circuit could define this season's race for the overall title.

This is mainly because of the availability of some of the national team players who have been busy finally having time to don club colors. The 15's team completed their national fixtures last Saturday and some of the players could be called up by clubs.

Dominique Habimana, an assistant coach of the national team clarified that those who played on Saturday against Hong Kong are entitled to a two-week break while those who played for Kenya 'A' on Tuesday were free to play at Dala Sevens.

"t's [playing] a very individual thing for those who will be allowed, but generally speaking, the guys who played the Tuesday game are free, while most guys who played on Saturday aren't. Most are on a 1-2 week rest" Habimana explained.

For the first time, Dala Sevens fans could see some of the national seven-a-side team players who performed disastrously in Rio de Janeiro. Mwamba who had three players - Collins Injera, Humphrey Kayange and Dennis Ombachi - could be the main beneficiaries if the players travel to Kisumu.

Homeboyz, who have reached the final of the three opening events and currently lead the table with 60 points could welcome back Augustine Lugonzo, Bush Mwale and Oscar Ayodi, three accomplished game changers.

Kenya Harlequin, the top seeds for the Kisumu tournament who are second to Homeboyz on the log could also have two experienced players William Ambaka and Patrice Agunda in their ranks.

With a sprinkle of 15's players also available, the level of competition in Kisumu could go a notch higher than in the opening three rounds which have not been competitive. 

Coaches handling the top four sides - Homeboyz (60), Quins (54), Impala (53) and Strathmore University (49) - say they are unlikely to change their squads much.

Charles Cardovillis who is coaching Quins will stick with the team that did duty in Mombasa with Agunda likely to come on the side which is captained by Felix Ayange. "I am very happy with the current squad," he told Sports News Arena.

Also looking for continuity is Nick Abok, coach of Impala RFC who has played it close to his chest not saying whether Sam Oliech will be in Kisumu. "It's tricky and we are likely to travel with the same squad to Kisumu."

Steady climb

For Quins, they have had a steady climb and Cardovillis is satisfied. "We are at a point where I want the boys to be mentally focused both days," he stated. The former national 7's player is aware of the danger posed by Blak Blad whom they have played twice.

"Day 1 is just ideal for that. We have played Blad [Blak]twice and they have pushed us to the limit, so they will smell blood. Our first game will be against Nakuru, and if we are not firing on all cylinders, they can shock us. We lost our first game in Kisumu last series, so we will be wary of them," Cardovillis recalled.

Looking across the other pools, Cardovillis noted they were predictable. "I'm looking forward to see day 2 pairings especially pool B & C, where potentially we could have Homeboyz playing Impala or Strathmore. One of these will lose ground this coming weekend on the overall title race."

Quins head Pool A which also has Blak Blad, Nakuru and Comras. Nakuru are the defending Series champions and beat Quins 15-14 in last year's cup final.

Homeboyz are top of Pool B ahead of Mwamba, Menengai Oilers and hosts Kisumu. This is the fourth time that Mwamba will be in the same pool with Menengai Oilers which is coached by Gibson Weru, a former Kenya 7's assistant captain.

Strathmore University have been grouped in a tough Pool C with Resolution Impala RFC, Mean Machine and Nondescripts RUFC who have been invited to feature in the top tier division of the competition by hosts Kisumu.

Pool D has Kabras Sugar, KCB, Makueni and Western Bulls who have also been invited to the division competition by the hosts. 

Dala Sevens will be played on September 3-4 at the ASK Mamboleo Showground in Kisumu City. The second tier Division two competition at the Dala Sevens will be played on September 2-3 at the Kisumu Polytechnic and ASK Mamboleo Showground.

KRU National 7's Series table

1. Homeboyz (60 points), Quins (54), Impala (53), Strathmore University (49), Kabras Sugar (38), KCB (36), Mwamba (34), Nakuru (28), Blak Blad (25), Menengai Oilers (13), Western Bulls (11), Daystar University (11), Kisii RFC (10), Catholic University (7), Mean Machine (6), Nondies (6), Makueni (5), Kisumu (3), Mombasa Sports Club (1).

Dala Sevens draw

Division 1

Pool A: Kenya Harlequin FC, Blak Blad, Nakuru, Comras; Pool B: Homeboyz, Mwamba, Menengai Oilers, Kisumu; Pool C: Strathmore University, Impala RFC, Mean Machine, Nondescripts RUFC; Pool D: Kabras Sugar, KCB, Makueni, Western Bulls.

Division 2

Pool E: Daystar University Falcons, Mt. Kenya University (Nairobi), Stormers, Mumias; Pool F: Kisii, Eastlanders, Moi University, Mbale; Pool G: Catholic University Monks, TUK, Egerton University Wasps, Sony; Pool H: KCA-U, CITAM Kisumu, Bungoma RFC, Siaya RFC; Pool I: Mt. Kenya University (Thika), Brumbies, KPA Eldoret, Masinde Muliro; Pool J: Masaku, JKUAT, Nakuru KITI, Homa Bay.