Since The Last Time We Spoke Rugby.
A lot has happened since we last spoke rugby on this space, both at the national and club level, there have also been a few interesting side shows. Allow us to catch up..
The Simbas played in the Reagan Hotel Cup of nations which featured Chile, Russia and hosts Hong Kong. Forget about the results, what was encouraging to see was the fact that we got better from game to game. Looking at this tournament from the ‘Road to Japan’ angle, we couldn’t have gotten a better platform to start our final preparations.
This tournament truly showed us that we can only get as much as we put in, at this level we cannot survive by just winging it. If we are serious about getting to a world cup, we need to invest in this team and start preparing now. Otherwise in a few months, we will be hurdled up crying over how we again came close.
It was great to see the likes of Alex Olaba, Elkeans Musonye and Peter Kilonzo get run outs at this level. The selection for the squad to the qualifiers will be very competitive.
This time round the qualifiers will be played on rotational basis, instead of the one location format. This gives us more time to prepare in between matches and use that home advantage when it actually matters. We play Morocco, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Tunisia and Namibia in that order between the 28th of June and 18th August 2018. Worth noting is we play Zimbabwe at home on 30th June and Namibia in Whindoek (obviously) on the 18th of August.
After much uncertainty, the Shujaa finally made the trip to Namibia for the Safland sevens and boy weren’t we all glad they did?
It was very exciting to watch the likes of Eric Ombasa, Sam Muregi and Herman Humwa (who will be making his series debut at the weekend) show what they are capable of. I am silently confident about the season ahead, we have had a solid pre-season and have several exciting additions to the squad (Ati Shabaan? Aaah hehe)
P.S Will Webster probably gives the most composed half time team talks of all time.
The 2017 Floodies saw KCB with their 4th title in 5 years, the Lions edging out defending champions Impala 18-17. The Menengai Oilers made it 2 in 2 in the Universities category, worth a mention, the Oilers are currently on a 22 match unbeaten run, they have not lost a single competitive match since their formation last year.
There were some great upcoming talents on display in the 3 weekends, the likes of Xavier Kipng’etich, Rainer Omondi of Impala, Alvine Marube of Kisii RFC and Georgy Manga of KCB, Clinton Odhiambo of the Oilers to name a few. Mean Machine again turned on their Floodies magic, though they couldn’t get past Impala.
The 15s leagues kicked off at the weekend, with little surprises, depending on who you ask. The highlight match saw Kabras beat Mwamba 30-22 in Kakamega, Blak Blad however stole the headlines with a 8-0 win over Nondies, while in other matches of note, KCB got over a shaky first half to beat a spirited Strathmore Leos side 27-0. Impala made easy work of Mombasa as did Nakuru when they hosted Kisii.
In the Championship, Machine made their promotion intentions clear after blanking the Catholic Monks 32-0, there were also wins for Oilers, Western Bulls and USIU. I really hope the Union/Caucus can make it easier for us to catch both Championship and Kenya cup matches, double headers maybe?
It promises to be a real exciting fifteens season, especially with the one off format in the Kenya Cup, don’t be too surprised if some of the ‘favourites’ fail to make the play offs.
I think with that we are now up to date with current affairs..