Rich tradition for Great Rift 10's

By the punter
Mar 22, 2021
  • Impala RFC is one of the form teams in the Kenya Cup league and are expected to translate their dominance to the Great Rift 10's in Nakuru over the Easter weekend. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

The Great Rift 10-a-side tournament which started in 1990 at Nakuru Athletic Club has a rich tradition. It is here where some of the top players honed their skills but more importantly, the tournament's mini-rugby program produced future players.

This year, the tournament sifts to ASK Nakuru Show ground but age-grade rugby remains an integral part with the preliminary matches set for Nakuru Day. A recent addition is the girl's age-grade rugby.

Back in the days, the tournament was slotted in between the Kenya Cup league and this year, it will be the biggest event over the Easter weekend after the postponement of the KCB Safari Rally.

According to the organizers, the move to the new venue is to give more value to one of the most popular tournaments in the Kenya Rugby Union calendar value for money. At the ASK Nakuru Show ground, familes are able to enjoy rugby and other fun events over two days.

Already, other Show grounds in Kakamega and Nairobi are venues for rugby matches. Nondescripts RUFC are tenants of the Nairobi ASK ground while Western Bulls and Kakamega sometimes play at the Kakamega venue. Zambia also host an international 7's competition at the Lusaka Show ground.

There has been talk of having one leg of the women's national league in Nakuru during the Great Rift 10's which could be a new incentive. But this will not happen as the league may be held at another venue either at Menengai High School of Nakuru Athletic Club.

Replay of Kenya Cup scenes

In the men's competition, the top five teams in the Kenya Cup league could dominate the tournament. The coaches keeping it close to their chests but admit it would be good to have some silverware in their cabinets.

Results at the weekend appear to favor Impala, the form team at the moment. They beat Blak Blad 48-6 at the weekend when Mwamba rekindled their hopes of reaching the last four with a 33-7 drubbing of Mean Machine.

Kenya Commercial Bank, the defending Kenya Cup champions and Kenya Harlequin FC also won at the weekend to emerge as some of the teams to watch out for in Nakuru.

Perhaps, the form of Nakuru who clinched the Great Rift Tens last year could be the talking point. They have been impressive and beat Sharks 69-3 at the weekend.

They are the top seeds of the Easter bonanza which is the 27th. According to the draw, 16 teams will battle for the title.

Nakuru are in Pool A which also has Kenya Harlequin FC, Western Bulls and Eldoret RFC. Past winners Kenya Commercial Bank are seeded second and head Pool B which also has Impala, Catholic University and Egerton.

Strathmore are in Pool C and await Mwamba, Blak Blad and mask with Kabras Sugar heading Pool D which also as Homeboyz, USIU-A and Mean Machine.

Twenty teams will feature in the division two competition from Friday but move to Nakuru Day for the knock out stage. Nakuru Day School will also be the venue for age-grade competitions for boys and girls.

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.