Quins Crowned Kings Of Christie
The Kenya Harlequins were in commanding form over the weekend, on their way to claiming the first leg of the 2015 National sevens circuit, the Christie Sevens.
As if to set the tone for the day, the first match saw Nondies creep from a 10-0 half time score to win 12-10 against the newly kitted KCB Lions in Pool A. The first round of matches would produce some closely fought out battles, the most notable being between Western Bulls and Thika, Quins against Daystar and Mwamba against Kisumu.
Quins would get over that shaky start to lead the sides into the cup competition on day 2, boasting of a 98-12 record in the 3 games played. They qualified together with Mwamba from Pool D. The other sides in the cup were Nondies who topped Pool A ahead of KCB, Top Fry Nakuru and Strathmore Leos who played out to a 12 all draw from Pool C.
The other two slots for the cup from Pool B were as hotly contested as we had expected. The first round of matches saw Homeboyz play out to a 19 all draw against Kabras, with Impala beating Machine 29-7. Round 2 saw Machine lose 49-5 at the hands of the Homeboyz, with Kabras beating Impala 21-7. At this point we had 3 sides on one win each. That big win over Machine saw the DJs hold top spot by just a whisker.
In the last round of matches, Kabras blanked Machine 30-0 meaning they were into the quarter finals. The other slot saw an epic battle between Homeboyz and Impala play out to a 5-0 result in favour of the Sarries, meaning that they would join the sugar millers in the cup competition.
My tournament favourites, Homeboyz were now in the Bowl, alongside Western Bulls, Daystar, Catholic Monks, Machine, Thika, Kisumu and Blakblad. The Day 2 draw was as follows :
Western Bulls vs Mean Machine
Kisumu vs Blak Blad
Catholic Monks vs Daystar Falcons
Homeboyz vs Thika
Main Cup :
Nondies vs Impala
Kenya Harlequin vs Nakuru
Strathmore Leos vs Mwamba
Kabras vs KCB
The pick of the bunch from the Cup, was the third quarter final between Strathmore and Mwamba. Two quick tries from Tony Owuor saw the Leos look set for a cup semi final, before Shaban Ahmed darted to the try line just before the break to give his side a lifeline at 10-5.
The cagey second half saw Mwamba level things up through Martin Wanjia, after a missed conversion. The next two minutes would see no score from wither side, meaning that we would go into sudden death.
That man Dan Sikuta was again on hand to rescue his side as he went over in the first half for a 15-10 score to send Mwamba into the cup semi and break Leos heart’s in one motion.
The other quarter final matches saw Nondies blank Impala 19-0, with Quins holing on to an early William Mawira try to edge out Nakuru 5-0. KCB brushing off Kabras Sugar 17-5 in the last quarter final.
The Bowl saw Western Bulls put 40 points past a hapless Mean Machine, with Blakblad edging Kisumu 5-0. The Daystar Falcons would endure a grueling final minutes against a resurgent Monks to eventually win 19-17. Homeboyz were comfortable 28-0 winners over Thika.
The Shield title was picked up by Kisumu, after a 19-12 result against Thika in the final, the two having beaten Machine, 22-7 and Catholic, 10-5 respectively in the semi finals.
The Menengai Cream Homeboy RFC put in a commanding display in the Bowl, beating Daystar 36-0 in the semi before blazing past Western Bulls 38-0 in the final, perhaps to show that they don’t belong here. The Bulls had beaten Blakblad 17-7 in the semis to set up that final.
In the Plate competition, the Leos were too good for the now faded Kabras, as they beat the sugar millers 22-7 to book a slot in the final. It was a lot harder for their opponents in the final, as Top Fry Nakuru battled to a 19-10 win over Impala.
It was an evenly contested ‘ping-pong’ affair for long periods, before Nakuru broke away to claim a 20-15 result and lift the 2015 Christie sevens title.
The journey to the cup final was one of contrasts for the two sides, Quins would find themselves trailing 7-0 within the opening minutes of their encounter against Nondies. They would soon after level things up, before an audacious set of side steps from Max Theuri saw him beat two defenders and score for a 14-7 half time lead.
Quins look set for a final slot, with a little over two minutes to the full time whistle, before center referee Constant Cap sent two Quins players to the sin bin in quick succession. Immediately the first player hit the sinners’ sit, Nondies had already leveled things up at 14 all.
Quins would hold on for a 14 all full time score, we were heading into sudden death. Within minutes of the restart, Frank Wanyama would break the Nondies line, to release captain Patrice Agunda who flipped his turbo switch to sprint to the try line, for a 21-14 result after the conversion. The hosts were in the cup final!
KCB’s path to the final was a bit more straight forward compared to Quins. Even though they found themselves trailing 7-5 to Mwamba at the break, two quick tries in the second half were enough to see off the defending Christie champions on a 17-7 full time result.
It was a tale of a try either side of half time and a decider penalty in the Bronze play off pitting the white shirts against the black. Nondies were leading 7-0 at the breather courtesy of a converted Oscar Dennis try.
Kulabu would level things up through Michael Agevi in the second half, before a brave call by captain Dan Sikuta to opt for a kick at goal from a penalty in the last minute paid off. Kevin Atandi lining up a drop kick from 40 meters out to seal Mwamba’s win at 10-7.
With everything done and dusted, it was now time to crown the King at the 51st edition of the Christie 7s.
While KCB had wobbled in their first match of the tournament and had turned their fortunes around to make it here. Quins had looked sure, strong and superior over the two days and were the favourites going into this final.
The hosts did not disappoint their home crowd, putting in a dominant display over the 20 minutes. Leading 7-0 at half time courtesy of a William Mawira try, the formerly quartered now stripped shirts went on to claim a 19-0 result. William Mawira claiming a brace and Johnstone Mung’au scoring the other try.
Quins were simply too good for a clueless looking KCB side, they shut out any KCB attack with great ease, while taking whatever chances they created. KCB looked blank with ball in hand, clearly suffering from the disadvantage in as far as size was concerned.
It was double joy for Quins as their second side claimed the 2nd division title beating an impressive Kisii RFC side 22-14. The KCB Lionesses edged out the Quins queens 7-5 to lift the Ladies title, in what can only be described as a shambolic final, thanks to the officiating.
Attention now moves to the City of Kisumu for the Dala sevens this weekend.