Ollows tips KCB for Great Rift 10's

By the punter
Mar 23, 2021
  • Fred Ollows, the Impala head coach has tipped KCB to do well at Great Rift 10's. Impala could field a development team in the two-day tournament.

  • Strathmore University team to the Great Rift 10's will be a blend of experienced and youthful players.

Fred Ollows, the Impala RFC coach has tipped Kenya Commercial Bank, last year's runners up and hosts Nakuru to challenge for this year's Great Rift 10's tournament at the ASK Nakuru Showground.

He warns that no team can be taken for granted in the shorter version of the game. "The biggest challenge is bound to come from KCB, last year's runners up," states Ollows whose Impala side is leading the Kenya Cup league with three matches left and is placed in the same Pool B. He favors KCB to do well in this pool.

Besides KCB, there is imminent threat from the university sides among them Catholic and Egerton. "They tend to play a carefree style full off flair that is always dangerous. For us to go through, we will need to take the chances we intend to create and a commited defense," the coach adds explaining that Nakuru, the defending champions are likely to go all the way.

This year's tournament is being played when the Kenya Cup league is reaching a climax after 16 weekends of action. Also the Kenya 15's squad are back in session. They assemble on Friday and on the weekend, the national seven-a-side team are due for Hong Kong Sevens.

Impala also have a tough match against Kabras Sugar in Kakamega which requires a delicate balance. As a result, Ollows may give a chance to his rising talent which he argues is not a bad thing. "There are some exciting players waiting for an opportunity to test their weight by representing the club at a competitive level," he says.

One may feel that Impala are feeling the pressure but Ollows notes the tournament and league are two different ball games. "In any case we don't feel the pressure of Kenya Cup. We've been going out there, trying things out and enjoying our rugb."

Ollows is in agreement with Mitch Ocholla, the Strathmore University coach that it is difficult to predict the form team for the Great Rift 10's which is the only code played once a year. "Because of the season challenges, a lot will depend on the teams that the various clubs will field."

But on the basis of history Pool C which has Strathmore, Mwamba, Blak Blad and Masaku could be the most competitive. "I really liked the Masaku brand of play during the National Sevens Circuit which means they can adjust to 10's. Blak Blad are fit, quick and enjoy the open game while Strathmore and Mwamba typically do well in short versions," Ollows adds.

Ocholla tips the top two teams in each pool to go through the first day without any problem and he forsees the battle for teh title shaping up from the knock out phase. But he cautiously adds this will depend on the players fielded by the clubs. "Kenya Cup finish line is important," he states.

Strathmore University will have a good mix of experienced and youthful players. Looking at the Pools, Ocholla picks out Pools C and D which have three Kenya Cup teams each. "This will be an interesting tournament and our focus is on the pool games first," the Strathmore coach concludes.

Top Fry Great Rift 10's Draw

Division 1 (Saturday 26/27 March, ASK Showground) Pool A: Nakuru, Kenya Harlequin, Western Bulls, Eldoret; Pool B: KCB, Impala, Catholic Monks, Egerton Wasps; Pool C: Strathmore, Mwamba, Blak Blad, Masaku; Pool D: Kabras Sugar, Homeboyz, USIU-A, Mean Machine.

Division 2 (Friday 25 March at ASK Showground, Saturday 26th March at Nakuru Day) Pool E: Comras, Thika, Cooperative College, Kabarak, Pool F: TUK, Moi University, Multimedia, MKU Thika; Pool G: JKUAT, Kisii, Ngong, Molo; Pool H: KCA, Brumbies, Kenya School of Law, KPA Eldoret; Pool I: UoE, Daystar, Masinde Muliro, Kiambu; *standby teams Mumias, MKU Nairobi, Nakuru Development.

Age Grade Competitions U19 Ladies (Friday 25 March at Nakuru Day); Pool A: Nakuru, Impala, Gatero Girls, Comras; Pool B: New Life, JM Kariuki, Kiroboni, Molo;

Under 14; Pool A: Nakuru, Comras, Sure 24; Pool B: New Life, Nakuru West,Tumaini.

Under -12; Pool A:  Nakuru, Sure 24, Tumaini; Pool B: New Life, Nakuru West, Mazembe.