Floodies Dream XV – Round 2
As far as great rugby weekends go, this past one at the Floodies semi finals was one of the best I have witnessed in a very long while. The 6 matches on the cards at the Impala club had everything from edge of the seat stuff to the downright mind captivating action.
From when the Oilers took the pitch to give a set piece master class and see off pre-match favourites USIU, to when the Ngong road derby served up what can only be classified as a masterful chess match, it was a rugby Saturday made in heaven, delivered straight to the Impala grounds.
At the end of the day it was the Oilers, Blad II, Homeboyz, Strathmore Leos, KCB and hosts Impala who remained on course to pick up Floodies titles next weekend. Laiser Hill Academy and Ofafa Jericho were the other sides to book final berths.
From the weekend’s cup semi finalists, here is my dream XV :
1. John Okwara (Kenya Harlequins) – Only two games in and the Oak legend has already started to show his worth in his new club. He was instrumental in a very close and tactical match. His impact on the set piece and ball carrying was clear for all to see.
2. Peter Karia (KCB) –Karia makes a second appearance in the dream team, and rightfully so. When you watch him play it almost unbelievable that he is barely 23 years old. His accuracy at the line out has seen his side anchor their play around him to much success. His work at the breakdown and set piece is also to be admired.
3. Isaiah Nyariki (Nakuru) – They say scrummaging comes naturally to a Mnyore, that and tackling. When you are the anchor to the Nakuru scrum, you have to be special. Nyariki was a monster at scrum time, dominating his opposite number at any given opportunity, although some of those were deemed to have been illegal by the match day ref.
4. Davis Makori (Impala) – Another returnee to the dream team, the scrum destroyer was once again at it this weekend. Putting in a great shift as the enforcer, his efforts were especially vital seeing as he was among the old heads in that relatively young Impala scrum. He alongside Daddex, Duncan Ekasi and Joel Omer led from the front, keeping level heads at the thick of things.
5. Oliver Mang’eni (KCB) –The line out master was at it again this weekend, standing out from the field with another stellar performance. Oliver was a constant threat at the line out against Nakuru, winning a couple off their throw and losing none from his side. This week his input in both attack and defence in open play greatly improved.
6. Andrew Amonde (KCB) – The first cup semi final in the club’s category was billed as the battle of the back rows. With Mike Okombe, Dalmas Chituyi and Edwin Makori on one side, Andrew Amonde, Davis Chenge and Rocky Aguko on the other. Amonde put in a great shift in that battle, he was crunching on attack as he was on defence. Keeping the likes of Okombe and co. in check.
7. Tyson Okoth (Impala) – The former Chipu captain was a force to reckon with on the Impala open side flank. He is another player who plays and punches well above his age. He was impressive over the 80 minutes in what was a closely fought out affair, he rarely put a foot wrong.
8. Dalmas Chituyi (Nakuru) –As KCB raced to an early 18-0 lead against Nakuru, most had written off the chances of a Mnyore comeback, they clearly had not consulted with Dalo. When the rest looked like they had hang their heads, Chituyi’s efforts were relentless and was part of the reason Nakuru came back to within 2 points of a win.
9. Samson Onsomu (Impala) –The Kenyan Aaron Smith made a return to the Sarries line up making an immediate Impact. His speed of service, game management and distribution was next to none at the weekend. In a match where there was virtually nothing to pick between the two sides, Onsomu was the little factor that gave the Sarries a constant edge.
10. Nato Simiyu (Impala) – I have run out of superlatives to describe Nato when in the mood he was in. His combination with Onsomu was magical. His performance can be summarised from one phase of play, at 3 all just before the half time break, Impala were on the attack, a swift ball was met by the oncoming Nato who in one smooth swing sold the perfect dummy to split the Quins defence and leave them in sixes and sevens.
11. Ian Minjire (Impala) – Minji makes it two out of two in the Floodies dream team, from another solid display for the Sarries. Though not as impressive as he was in the quarter finals, Minjire was effective in his play especially on defence, he was always on point when called upon.
12. Edwin Okemwa (Nakuru) – Okemwa was in inspired form for the Wanyore, I mentioned earlier that when Nakuru were down 18-0, Dalo was part of the reasons behind the comeback, I now add Okemwa to that list. He was devastating with ball in hand, beating the gain line with probably every touch. With two tries to his name, his spot here is well deserved.
13. Anthony Nyandigisi (Impala) – Nyando was in impressive form at outside center for the Sarries, where he was up against Muhanji and Ambunya. His partnership with David Dinda did a superb job in shutting out their opposite numbers, he in specific put in a great shift going forward.
14. Quinto Ongo (Impala) – A few questions were raised over Quinto’s inclusion in last week’s dream team, after his performance at the weekend, I doubt there will be any left. The diminutive flier was superb over the 80 minutes, what he lacks for in size he more that makes up for in sheer will power and pace. He was massive in both attack and defence, his last minute try and conversion capping it all.
15. Darwin Mukidza (KCB) – Mukidza had a silent evening by his high standards, but still outdid his peers in his position. 13 points from the boot, he fielded the aerial balls exceptionally, was key in the Lions’ attack and put in some very vital last ditch tackles especially when his side was against the ropes.
If the action at the weekend is anything to go by, this 15s season will be nothing but LIT! There will be very little to pick between the sides, the level of play has gone a step higher, it is clear to see that the clubs put in a great amount of work in the off season. I can’t wait to see what the finals weekend will have in store for us.