Djs Mute Lions Roar In Mombasa
Homeboyz RFC became the first side to beat KCB in this year’s sevens series, the Djs edging out the Lions 21-17 in the cup final of the Driftwood sevens at the weekend.
The Lions had put together an impressive unbeaten run that stretched into last season, the last side to have beaten them being Impala, during last year’s Kabeberi leg. That win by the Homeboyz also opening up the race for the overall title.
The two sides led the way into the quarter finals, having come out unscathed from Day one action. The Lions would however tackle Day 2 without captain Darwin Mukidza who was sidelined through injury.
Kabras sugar made their first appearance in the cup competition, from Pool D, after beating Impala 14-7. Mwamba picked themselves up after a 12-0 loss to Nakuru in the opening match of Pool C, to make it to the cup quarter finals.
Impala found themselves in the Bowl competition after Day 1, alongside the likes of Western Bulls,Catholic University and Thika. The quarter final pairings after Day 1 looked like this :
Bowl Quarters :
KCA v Kisumu.
Impala v Blak Blad.
Bulls v Daystar.
Thika v Catholic.
Main Cup Quarters :
KCB v Nondies.
Strathmore v Mwamba.
Nakuru v Kabras.
Homeboyz v Quins.
Kisumu were 19-0 winners over KCA in the first Bowl quarter final, they would face Impala who beat Blak Blad 26-0. Western Bulls would beat Daystar 31-7 to set up a semi final clash against the Catholic Monks who beat Thika RFC 32-5.
KCB would have to dig in deep to get past a resolute Nondies, 7-0. The Lions in green saw very little of the ball over the 14 minutes and were pinned in their half. That set up the tone for the rest of the quarter final match ups, with little to pick between the sides.
Mwamba edged out Strathmore 12-7 to set up a smi final clash against KCB, Kulabu doing well to keep the potent Leos side at bay. Especially in the second half, having scored their 12 points in the first.
With the scores reading 7-7 at the half time break of the third quarter final between Kabras and Nakuru, it was all to fight for in the next 7 minutes. Nakuru would score twice to lead 19-7 to put the match out of the Sugar miller’s reach, with the final score reading 19-12.
Many expected the last quarter final between neighbours Homeboyz and Quins to be a closely fought affair, the pickof the bunch. It however failed to live up to these expectations as Homeboyz ran away with a 24-5 results to set up a semi final showdown against Nakuru.
The Semi final pairings were as follows :
KCA v Blak Blad
Daystar v Thika
Kisumu v Impala
Western Bulls v Catholic
Nondies v Strathmore
Kabras v Quins
KCB v Mwamba
Nakuru v Homeboyz
KCA were the first side to make it to the final round, after edging out Blak Blad 12-5, that result meaning that Blad will play in the second division at the Prinsloo sevens.
Daystar registered a 17-7 win in the second Bowl semi against Thika RFC. The Dala Division II champions failing to stay in the first division.
In the Bowl, Impala were 27-5 winners over Kisumu, to set up a final showdown against Western Bulls who beat Catholic University 17-5.
Strathmore got back from a 14-0 deficit at the breather to edge out Nondies 19-14 and book a final showdown against Quins who beat Kabras 38-0.
KCB marched into the final after a hard fought 14-5 win over Mwamba in the first semi final.The Lions went into the break leading 14-0 with tries from Ken Moseti and Fabian Olando.
They would have to defend for much of the second half, there was however little they could do as Dan Skuta showed the defence a clean pair of heels to make the full time score 14-5.
The second semi final saw Nakuru get off the blocks faster to lead 7-0 in the opening exchanges. That was however the last time that the Wanyore crossed the Djs try line. A Mugaisi double along with tries by Mulama and Lughonzo saw the side claim a 24-7 result to set up a repeat of the Dala cup final.
Final pairings :
Daystar vs KCA
Impala vs Western Bulls
Quins vs Strathnore
Third Place :
Nakuru vs Mwamba
KCB vs Homeboyz
The Daystar Falcons managed to make the most out of their fortunate appearance in the first division after beating KCA 17-0, to lift the Shield title and ensure that they remain in the top flight.
With the two sides in the Bowl final all looking to make up for missing out on the cup competition, it was always going to be a tough affair. It was Impala who walked away with the Bowl title, by a whisker after edging out Western Bulls 5-0.
Quins were first to score in the Plate final against Strathmore, Paul Abuto’s try giving the quartered shirts a 5-0 lead. The Leos would quickly get back into it, Churchill Ooko’s converted try handing them a 7-5 lead.
Arthur Ochieng would ensure that Quins led going into the break with a try just before the hooter to make the score 10-7.
Churchill would get his brace as he once again got the better of the Quins defence, to see the lead exchange hands for the fourth time at 14-10. The score board would remain that way to see the Leos claim the Plate title.
The third place play off was a low scoring affair as Nakuru faced off against Mwamba for the second time in this tournament. The Wanyore were first on the score board as Godfrey Mbeya touched down for a 5-0 lead, as the great rift side looked to repeat theri 12-0 win over Mwamba.
That man Skuta touched down moments after to give Kulabu a 7-5 lead at the break. Shaban was once again responsible for breaking Wanyore’s hearts as he gathered a lose ball to score and make it 12-5. The match would remain cagey but Kulabu holding on to finish third in Mombasa, and avenging their Day 1 loss.
The big final did not disappoint as series leaders KCB took on second placed Homeboyz for the 2014 Driftwood title. A repeat of the Dala sevens final where KCB were 21-5 winners.
The Lions were first on the score board as they looked to pick up from where they left in Dala. The Djs would quickly get back into the fold, building from deep inside their territory swinging the KCB defence from one side to the other. Leonard Mugaisi picking the ball from a ruck and touch down under the posts to give his side a 7-5 lead.
KCB were back in front, Ken Moseti side stepping through the Homeboyz defence and converting to make it 12-5. The Djs were giving the Lions very little peace at the rucks, managing to disrupt any momentum the bankers had built up.
It was from this tact that they found themselves in the lead going into the break. The Lions were well inside the Homeboyz half, the Djs getting a foot through a KCB ruck to the ball. There being no sweeper, Augustine Lughozo would win the foot race after showing some good soccer skills, to touch down for a 14-12 lead at the break.
The Homeboyz would be the happier of the two going into the breather, as they were down to six men after Michael Wanjala saw yellow for an intentional knock on. KCB had all the work to do, and were very much in this one, despite letting go of some guilt edged chances in that half.
KCB’s chances in this match were given a shot in the leg as their influential play maker Ken Moseti was stretchered off with a suspected concussion. Wanjala would make up for his stint in the sin bin with a try to make it 21-12. A late Fabian Olando try was not enough to salvage the game for KCB as the final score read 21-17.
That Homeboyz win was monumental in more ways than one, firstly it brought to an end an impressive run of 37 games without a loss for KCB. It also now opens up the race for the overall title with the two sides now separated by 5 points on the log.
Homeboyz trio of Leonard Mugaisi, Augustine Lughonzo and Humphrey Mulama swept the individual accolades picking up the Top Try scorer, Top points scorer and Most Valuable player respectively.
It was a particularly great outing for Mwamba, who after falling at the Bowl semi finals in Dala, the black shirts finished third in Mombasa with virtually the same squad. Dan Skuta in the middle of everything for the side alongside the likes of Chris Asego, Kevin Atandi, Horace Otieno and Joseph Oriyo.
Daystar would also be happy with their Shield title but most importantly that they remain in the first division. Kabras Sugar also had a great outing, making it to the cup competition for the first time this season.
There will be concerns for Impala and Western Bulls who failed to make it into the cup competition in Mombasa. The biggest one however for me,came in Division II where Machine failed to make it back into the top flight after losing 5-0 to eventual champions Masaku in the cup semi final.
Masaku will now play in the first division in Nakuru as will Mombasa who were beaten 19-0 in the final. Blak Blad and Thika RFC will join Machine in the second division.
KCB still lead the log on 63 points, followed by Homeboyz on 58 points, Nakuru jump from 6th to third on 42 points, Quins slipping into fourth on 41 points, tied with Strathmore. Impala are on 36 points in 6th place.
The series now moves to Nakuru for the Prinsloo sevens, as we start heading into the home stretch, the sides have two training days to try and rectify any problems they had in Mombasa.
The title race now is basically between KCB and Homeboyz, the two have been the most consistent sides in the last three legs and unless one of them self implodes, I don’t see how the chasing pack can catch up with them.
To matters outside the field, in Mombasa we saw Safaricom and Tusker work hand in hand and deliver a memorable event that did not end at 5:30 pm on Saturday. Sure the vendors and the fans were a delighted lot so were the organisers, now was that so hard to do in the first two legs? Now could we also see the same in the remaining legs? Oh and by the way Sunday pia ni siku tu kama Saturday…