Wanyore Are Sevens Kings
Top Fry Nakuru RFC are kings of sevens rugby. Wanyore picked up the 2015 crown after beating TUK 41-0, in their second Pool A match at the Kabeberi sevens. From here on, it was just a matter of formalities, or was it?
That result meant that Nakuru were through to the cup quarter finals, chasing only 12 points (a plate semi final) from this leg, they were now assured of those 88 points, their primary work here was done.
The side went on to battle the outgoing series champions KCB in the last match of Pool A, narrowly losing 13-5 to see them finish in second spot. The two were joined by Mwamba, Kabras, Quins, Strathmore, Impala and Quins in the cup competition on day 2.
The highlight of Day 1 action was definitely from Pool C, where Nondies and Strathmore played out to a 12 all draw with Quins running 36 points past Makueni in the first round of Matches. The Leos would put 45 points past Makueni, with Quins claiming a 28-12 result against Nondies.
In the last round of matches, Nondies battled a spirited Makueni side to sneak in a 19-14 result, with Quins letting go of a 14-0 lead against Strathmore to lose 15-14. That result seeing the Leos claim top spot from this Pool.
Nondies would find themselves in the Bowl competition alongside Western Bulls who finished bottom of Pool B after losing 14-0 to JKUAT.
Day 2 action saw Mwamba bully their way to a 19-0 score against a hapless KCB, before the Lions clawed back to claim a more respectable 19-10 result in the first cup quarter final. It wasn’t as easy for the incoming series champions Nakuru who faced off against the Menengai Cream Homeboyz, in a replay of the Prinsloo 7s cup final.
It took a Geoffrey Ominde drop goal from a penalty deep into sudden death to separate these two, with Nakuru proceeding to the cup semi final. Kabras were too sleek for a wasteful Quins side, claiming a 17-12 result with Impala blowing away the Leos 26-5.
The Bowl quarter finals saw the Bulls, Monks, Nondies and JKUAT proceed to the semi final stage with Blad, Makueni, Kisii and TUK dropping to the shield.
Makueni continued their impressive run in the first division with a 22-12 result over Blad in the first shield semi final. With TUK edging out Kisii 21-17 to book a final berth. It was the end of the road for Blakblad and Kisii, Blad finishing in 11th spot on 27 points, with Kisii in 13th on a similar number of points, 13.
The Bulls and Nondies booked final slots in the Bowl category after beating the Monks 31-5 and JKUAT 22-5, respectively. Monks finish the series in 12th spot ob 14 points with JKUAT IN 2Oth on 1 point after only gaining promotion to the top flight in Nakuru.
The Technical University of Kenya claimed the Shield title after beating Makueni 15-0. This being their first stint in division 1, they finish the season on 3 points in 17th spot. The impressive Makueni finish a point and a place above TUK on 4 points.
Nondies registered a 20-7 result over Western Bulls in the Bowl final to see the Rangers finish what started as a promising sevens campaign in 9th spot on 41 points. The Echulusi finishing 3 points behind them on 38 points in 10th spot.
This season, the battle in the Plate category has been just as bruising as the one for the cup, if not more. The one at Kabeberi was no different. First up the Lions battled to a 12-7 result against Quins in a nervy encounter before the DJs got past Strathmore 17-0. Kenya Harlequins finish in third spot on 75 points, with the Leos in 4th, 2 points behind the Quin.
The first cup semi finals saw Kabras take the early lead against Mwamba, before the black shirts leveled things up for a 7 all score at the break. A red card to Kabras in the second half opened things up for Kulabu to grab a 19-7 full time score.
Having led 7-0 at the half time break against Impala, Nakuru saw their run of 3 cup finals come to an end, with the Sarries scoring two quick tries in the second period to claim a 12-7 result.
The Bronze final saw Nakuru face off against Kabras, in what was a worn out affair, Kabras edging their brothers 12-0. Kabras finish the series in 8th spot on 56 points, with Nakuru well, we already all know this part, wrapping up the series title on 91 points.
The two cup finalists met at the same stage last year, at the 2014 Christie sevens, then the last leg of the series. Mwamba would go on to lift the Christie title then claiming 24-10 result. Could they repeat that feat, one year on in their home tournament?
Like they did last year, Impala were first on the board, through Ian Minjire for a 7-0 score after Nato Simiyu’s conversion. Nato would himself go over for a 12-0 score inside the first five minutes. Mwamba’s response from this was led by the Emonyi household.
Humphrey Kayange would score under the posts, Collins Injera converting before Michael Agevi got Mwamba’s second moments later, Injera again adding the extras, for a 14-12 score at the break.
Impala kicked off the second half as they did the first, with a try. George Okowa picking up the ball to show two Mwamba defenders a clean pair of heels and touch down at the corner to make it 17-14. From this point, it was end to end action.
First up it was Collins Injera, who for the first time in this series reminded us just how good he is at the wing. Receiving the ball just inside his 22, executing a perfect goose step to gain that extra meter on his defender, then turning on the after burners to touch down at the corner, 19-17.
It was Impala’s turn to score, with Paul Mutasami on hand for the Kenyan Sarries, with little over 2 minutes left on the clock at 22-19, surely this was it.
He has been getting his side out of jail through out this series and it was no surprise that he was on hand to do it one more time. Shaban Ahmed would touch down for Kulabu with Injera converting at the death for a 26-22 full time result.
It was a final fit to wrap up what has been a closely fought out series, the most competitive one I have seen.
Kulabu claimed their second cup title this season, to finish the series as 1st runners up on 81 points, with Impala in 5th on 63 points.
All round it was a super sevens season, that was pulled off superbly by the host clubs against the backdrop of some tough times. The only cause of concern would be the number of strikingly similar injuries we have experienced over the last 5 weeks, whatever you attribute it to, something needs to be done and fast.
Otherwise bring on the Safari Sevens, meanwhile watch out for my Dream 7 from this year’s series coming up next.