If Easter had six senses, by the time we hit Thursday I would have thought of writing her a letter. The oldies way of expressing cute little tit bits, in it, I would have thanked her for being a host to a sublime rugby weekend… (It’s a she, it has to be- feminine species are more warmly, caring et al to visitors, gents are warm too but with an affinity of commands dispatched to the lasses)...
I would have thanked Easter for catering for more than many rugby enthusiasts that traveled over to the Rift Valley, some for the first time I guess, & also the lakeside county of Homabay - definitely a first time for many on this trip. I wouldn’t get too far in the paragraphs without mentioning the unlucky departure of the favored nephew, Top Fry Nakuru… they gave a good show, albeit all the qualms surrounding officiating. The heat wave (equinox?) would also be an obvious mention, but expounding the details would be cliché.
Leos bountiful harvest
Action at the turf was splendid, an imperious Strathmore Leos, made a touch of every goody in the offing, they carried the weekend with wins through to the finals conceding zero points en route, right from game one to the final! Technical University of Kenya (TUK), makofi kwenu champs! You were my most interesting team to watch, really gave the ‘big teams’ a show despite the early exit, Rugby ni hard.
Thanks to Ragahouse.com, I got to don my first press pass. Kenna, Brian (or should I say Shujaapride.com), Bea- Mong’ina sounds better :), Chichi Onchiri, Eric Njiiru & Rainer Omondi with complete disregard to the little time we had to chat with some of you, I must say the hearty little convos were worth the weekend.
Lastly on matters Easter, special mention to Kevin Ogao, plying his trade at Resolution Kisii RFC, for the MVP scoop at Homabay 10s, ongeza supu kwa bill yangu hehe…
I can go on to give a whole chronology of events and all the chaps I met down at Suguta valley but I would be shifting off from the main objective… to seize it with earnest, a BIG THANK YOU all that showed up, that should do the trick.
To Kenya Cup
Moving on to matters Kenya Cup, its important to note the fate of the playoffs is arguably already imprinted on the board, same is the fate of the relegation positions but before we delve into that, a quick jog through round 16 scores;
Top Fry Nakuru were still hot to handle for B’Sharks taking them down 69-3 to move up on the standings to 3rd. Strathmore Leos, now at 5th, pumped 65-0 against 12th placed Thika Millars while the embattled Kabras Sugar settled for a 53-3 win over Nondescripts to finish at 6th.
Mwamba RFC retained position 8 after a 'lecture' with Mean Machine that ended 33-7. KCB (4th) pulled a come back to win 25-16 over Homeboyz (7th). Resolution Impala stretched their lead at the top with 48-6 win over Blakblad (11th) whilst Kenya harlequins piled pressure on the Saracens with a 57-7 victory over 9th placed Western Bulls.
Round 17 fixtures have the most of derbies to be featured in a single weekend ever since the start of the season, four clashes out of the seven carries the weight of the weekend.
KCB Rugby vs Mwamba RFC (+5 to KCB)
Back in Round 8 (review) the Bankers cashed in points from Mwamba RFC and would be looking up to pick another bumper harvest as they host them this weekend.
Kulabu on the other hand will be out to even the books & definitely to avenge the home defeat and improve their position at the standings as the play offs bellows from yonder. Bwana Lavin, my prediction aside, this guys can’t us!!
Kabras Sugar vs Resolution Impala Saracens (+10 to Saracens)
Last weekend at the Great Rift prominent regular charges from both sides were notably absent, reason? Kenya Cup muhimu! Well they didn’t quite communicate to us exactly but the message is no different, both teams rested their reliable Kenya cup players for this weekend.
This will be so lit, I wish Zuku would have resorted to travel to Kakamega to air this match. Impala sit at the top of the log and with Quins mounting pressure n them,they ought to scramble for a win in this match. Back in Round 14, they picked a significant win but would they do it again?
Strathmore Leos vs Top Fry Nakuru (+8 to Nakuru)
This is a first clash pitting the two this weekend , but pegging my prediction on the just concluded Great Rift 10s, it will be a an explosive match. Back in Nakuru it was a duel worth to watch as the Leos mauled Top Fry 10-0 to advance to the cup finals, a series of calls by the center referee did get the crowd to their nerves, engraving the atmosphere with jeers and cheers alike.
But that was 10s the 15s version of the game might prove different for the Wanyore or will the Leos extend the bragging rights over the visitors?
Nondescripts vs Blakblad (+3 to Blad)
Blad pulled a surprise upset in round 14- review to nudge Nondies, the much expected winners 17-5. Whatever was happening at the Red lion’s camp, Development rugby they excused themselves.
After such a loss Nondies should have attained their right blend of the young and old as they head to this game. On the other side Blakblad will leave nothing to chance having taken grip of the Red Lion in previous encounter they will be expecting to lip over their counterparts, who sit at 10th while they are a point adrift at 11th.
Western Bulls vs Thika RFC (+15 to Bulls)
Western Bulls have had their fair share of an inauspicious season but amidst the storm they managed to steer the ship to safe haven, at ninth on the standings- certainly not the best position but way better than relegation.
A look at the standings, both teams are far off making it to the play offs and would rather be playing ball probably to retain status quo. For Thika Millars, last they played Echulusi was in Round 8, they went down 35-7. Their work is well cut out here, reduce the deficit!
Menengai Cream Homeboyz vs Mean Machine (+10 to Homeboyz)
I had an opportunity to watch the Deejays square it out with the Students in round 8, courtesy of Zuku of course, I wouldn’t be wrong to say they had a slack first half. Were it not for the Machine’s losing steam in the dying minutes of the second half, we would have seen a different score line other than the 27-7 win for the Deejays.
Mean Machine sit just 7 points shy off the last placed team Bungoma Sharks and as much as they can be a gritty lot this weekend brings no luck to them.
Kenya Harlequins vs Bungoma Sharks (Quins win)
Last encounter had Quins wallop the Sharks 103 to nothing in Round 14, we can only wait to see whether they will cross that mark this weekend as they look to peep Impala on the standings.
There goes the weekend wrap up, 4 derbies for your choosing, give yourself a rugby treat.