Floodies Enters Semi Final Stage

Even before we fully soak in the experience that was the first weekend of the 2015 Floodies, the second is already here with us.

Nato Simiyu on his way to the line against Quins.

Nato Simiyu on his way to the line against Quins.

With all the action now at the Impala Club, the semi final weekend is bound to be just as good as the quarter finals, if not better.

Schools

Laiser Hill’s quest for back to back Floodies titles remains on course as they face MFA, the defending champions saw off the Mean Maroon of Lenana School 29-0. Their opponents Moi Forces Academy had to endure a nervy encounter against Alliance High School, eventually edging it 8-5.

The other semi final will see the only standing rugby ‘giant’ Wazimba of Mang’u high school take on the 2013 Floodies champions Ofafa Jericho. OJ are fresh from slaying the Patch Machine of Nairobi School 18-8 they will be looking to add the Wazimba to that list on their way to the final.

Mang’u were 21-0 winners over new boys Githiga and will be out to prove that unlike their fellow traditional giants they are still a force to reckon with.

Mangu v Ofafa – 11.00 am
Laiser Hill v MFA – 12.15 pm

Universities

Defending champions Blak Blad RFC, and Mean Machine RFC will get their first run out at the 2015 Floodies when they take on the Catulus of Strathmore and USIU respectively.

As mentioned earlier with the Nationwide league having kicked off, the Universities category was cut down to 6 sides with the top two seeds receiving Byes to the semi finals.

The Catulus were commanding in their quarter final, beating TUK 47-15 at the RFUEA grounds, USIU were equally as impressive at the Impala grounds where they beat the Catholic Monks 27-16.

Strathmore v Kenyatta University – 13.45 pm
USIU v University of Nairobi – 15.30 pm

Clubs

The clubs category semi finals can be summed up as ‘father-son’ affairs with sides that share a bit of history drawn up either side of the draw. Two coaches will be facing their former clubs in their quest to secure a first major 15s title for their current sides.

Pan Africa Strathmore Leos v Resolution Impala Saracens

Impala old boy Mitch Ocholla will be leading his young charges against the hosts, these two sides share a symbiotic relationship of sorts often trading players for quite a while now. The latest to make this move is Kenya Simbas captain Brian Nyikuli, who had moved back to Impala before re joining the Leos (I know its confusing.)

It goes without saying then that the two sides know each other quite well, you’d be forgiven to think that that fact would mean ties between the two have been close affairs, they have been anything but. The Leos have a strangle hold on this one having posted 59-10, 33-10 and 37-14 results in the last three meetings in the league.

If history was all that was in play at the weekend then this tie would be all but done, however a closer look reveals that Impala have not looked this good in a long while. That commanding win over Quins in the quarter final was probably the best we have seen from an Impala side in almost 4 seasons.

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The hosts will be longing to make it to their first final in 5 years, and go all the way to send a clear message just before the league kick off that they are back. The Leos were winners in 2011, a year after Impala had won it, they haven’t been to a floodie final since and should be just as hungry for that slot, as their hosts here.

The back line combination of Nato Simiyu, Sammy Oliech, Anthony Nyandigisi and Robert Aringo will be vital for the hosts as they come up against the likes of Michael Wanjala, Tony Onyango, Alex Olaba, Churchill Ooko and Humphrey Owuor.

It will be interesting to see whether Brian Nyikuli will line up for Strathmore, if he does he will do their forwards department a load of good. As he will be lining up alongside the likes of Adrian Opondo, Eric Kioko, Michael Gitau, Jared Owinyoand John Okwara who were impressive against Nakuru. With the sevens camp on break, don’t be surprised to see the likes of Tony Owuor in the squad.

Impala’s forwards will be led by the experienced captain Duncan Ekasi, Paul Oimbo, Dennis Karani and Joel Omer. If they are to get anything from this game they will either have to play the game at their pace or match the rampant Leos forwards. If the Quins match was anything to go by, these Impala forwards have what it takes to match their opponents.

KCB v Menengai Cream Homeboyz

The second semi final will be a replay of the 2014/15 Enterprise cup final, with KCB taking on the Menengai cream Homeboyz RFC. Just like in the first semi, these two share a one way ‘symbiotic relationship’ with a big chunk of the Homeboyz players tracing their roots to KCB.

After grabbing their first Floodies win last weekend, Paul Murunga will be leading his Homeboyz charges looking for a first win over his former side KCB in the top flight. This match up has produced only one winner in the past, but unlike the Impala-Strath situation, this one has served up some close match ups.

The lions have recorded 50-12, 20-14, 41-15 and 28-0 results in the last four meetings, the last one being in the Enterprise cup final. In their win over Nondies at the quarter finals Homeboyz looked like a renewed side, especially in the forwards where they had been struggling for a while. The likes of Emmanuel Mavala, Elphas Etemesi and Joshua Chisanga leading the now bulkier forwards who matched their more experienced opponents in Nondies.

Haroun Lubisia at fly half played a great territorial game and if picked will again be vital to the Djs charge. The Lions on their part dismantled Mwamba in every department with some spirited play, the likes of Elly Mukaisi, Curtis Lilako, Oliver Mang’eni were exceptional in the forwards. They will need to lead from the front once again against this mean looking Homeboyz pack.

Haroun Lubisia kicks a conversion for the Homeboyz

Haroun Lubisia kicks a conversion for the Homeboyz

In the backs Bonab Were, Stafford Abeka, Darwin Mukidza and Allan Omuka were the stand out performers, with Felix Wanjala in the middle pulling the strings.

The return of the sevens players adds an extra punch to this game, in case it needed any. Bush Mwale, Augustine Lughonzo and Collins Shikholi for Homeboyz with Andrew Amonde and Ken Moseti for KCB. I expect these faces to slot back into the match day 23 as these sides look to make it to the 2015 Floodies final.

Pan Africa Strathmore Leos v Resolution Impala Saracens – 17.00 pm
KCB v Menengai Cream Homeboyz – 19.00 pm

With these mouth watering clashes on the cards, littered with the potential of underdog stories all over, you can’t afford to miss out. Then there is the not so small issue of the biggest rivalry in world rugby, being renewed this weekend at the Rugby World cup…see you at the Impala Club.

KWISHA….Nimeruka Nje!!

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