News and intrigues that made Kenyan Rugby in 2014
By Patrick Korir | Mon 09 Mar, 2015 23:56

Sooner than we know, four will increment to five as we say bye to year 2014 and usher a brand new one – 2015.

But as the cross over nears, it’s time to flash back to the events that made us glued to Kenyan Rugby in 2014.

ragahouse.com takes a blow by blow account over the months, from January to December, of the happenings that captured the news in Kenya in the year gone by.

January

- Kenya hammered 35-0 by Fiji in the final of the USA 7s, the fourth leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series held at Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas

- Kenya are set to replace the Pampas XV in the 2014 Vodacom Cup

February

- Kenya wins the Bowl at Wellington 7s in the fifth leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series by beating Scotland 24-14

- Kabras Sugar RFC, Catholic Monks, Technical University of Kenya (TUK) Mustangs and Kakamega RFC qualify for the nationwide playoff semis after quarterfinal wins over Thika RFC (61-0), University of Eldoret Trojans (17-12), Egerton Wasps (27-12) and Masaku (30-15) in that order.

March

- Kenya makes winning Vodacom Cup start with a 17-10 beating of Eastern Province. Leonard Mugaisi of Homeboyz landed two tries on his debut. The team went on to lose the next six ties to finish ahead of Border Bulldogs

- Kenya stopped in the Plate semis during the sixth leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Japan after a 36-0 beating by Australia at Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium. The weekend after, the team had gond from bad to worse ending in the Shield of Hong Kong 7s, that they won by seeing off Portugal 17-0.

-Kabras Sugar RFC and Catholic Monks qualify for the Kenya Cup after making the finals with nationwide semis playoff wins over TUK (8-3 after extra time – was tied 3-3) and Kakamega RFC 39-7 respectively. The Kenya Cup confirmation though came in late July.

- In falling to the Shield final in Hong Kong, Collins Injera hit a milestone when his second try for Kenya, in their 26-12 fall to Scotland in the Bowl semis sent him past Blitzboke stalwart Fabian Juries 179 tries as he became the third best try scorer in the series with 180 touch downs.

- Kenya Lionesses debut at the Hong Kong 7s where they made the Bowl final, losing 7-33 to hosts Hong Kong. Celestine Masinde scored Kenya's lone try with Janet Awino converting

- Mwangi Muthee re-elected unopposed as KRU Chair for a second term. Godwin Karuga, Habil Kadieda Ogutu and Paul Lanco were voted in as Directors taking up slots vacated by Mike Rabar, Terry Adembesa and Paul Nyamodi. Former star player and high achieving Kenya Seven’s Coach Benjamin Ayimba failed in his bid to join the Board

April

- KCB successfully defended their Great Rift ten a side title, winning the 25th edition in 2014, after battling to a 18-15 sudden death win over Strathmore Leos at the Nakuru Athletics Club (NAC)

-Nakuru RFC beats KCB 18-13 to lift the Enterprise Cup for the sixth time, incidentally coming after six years. KCB II defeated Western Bulls II 28- 8 to successfully defend their title as Impala III beat Shieywe RFC 26-3 to win Mwamba Cup Division II title.

-Kenya Lionesses fall 0-15 to South Africa who successfully defended their Confederation of Africa (CAR) Africa Women's Sevens title in the final played at the Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos County

-On the first attempt, St Peters Mumias crowned National School 15s Champions after beating Maseno 15-13 in Mombasa. Peter’s Mumias had beaten Kang’aru 15-0 in the semis as Maseno knocked out Menengai 17-0 in the other semi.

May

- Kenya is second best in the Plate during the eighth and penultimate edition of the HSBC Sevens World Series held at Scotstoun Stadium, Scotland after 26-5 loss to England.

-Nakuru RFC pips KCB 20-13 to retain the Kenya Cup title. Young Martin Owila emerges as the MVP with crucial tries in each half. Earlier on it was the reverse as KCB Cubs nailed Wanyore’s junior side 21-10 in extra time to the Eric Shirley title, their first in six years.

-Billy The Kid Odhiambo get’s listed in the Dream team after leading Kenya to the Plate finals in HSBC’s Sevens World Series ninth and final leg in London. He landed four tries (same as Tony Owuor) as Kenya closed the series placed seventh with 84 points.

June

- UAP Kifaru defeats Nguvu Papa 15-0 at the RFUEA Grounds to be crowned the2014 Bamburi Rugby Super Series Champions to land Kshs 0.5 million prize money.

- Activities come to a standstill in Machakos as the town hosts the third edition of Masaku 7s. Part of the attending 10,000 turn the descent town to ’Sin City’. Fijian side Tabadamu beat Uganda 30-15 in an all-foreign final to land the Ksh 500,000 winner’s purse. Uganda settled for Kshs 200,000. KCBbeat Kenya U-19 29-0 to lift the plate, Jombi beat Kisumu 27-0 for the Bowl, hosts Kilunda beat Oslo to the shield as Blak Blad beat Egerton University 17-5 to win the University’s category.

- KRU CEO Jack Okoth, appointed to the post in early Nov 2013, is sacked by the Board. Day later chair Mwangi Muthee declares the sacking ‘misplaced and null and void!’ He still went out

-Maseno School reclaim KSSSA National 7s title after seeing off Laiser Hill Academy 17-12 in the final at Kisii High. Laiser Hill's Kelvin Masai named MVP

July

- Kenya, coached by South African Jerome Paarwater comes to within a bonus point of qualifying for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. But a 28-10 loss to Zimbabwe’s Sables ended the dream. It mattered little that the team had beaten Namibia 29-22 and Madagascar 34-0. Namibia went on to qualify for a fifth straight World Cup

- Kanyakine High School emerged as schools’ winners in Meru 7s first rendition at Kinoru Stadium. Homeboyz beat KCB 12-7 to lift the main title

- USA Rugby appoint former Kenya and England coach Mike Friday as USA Eagles Sevens Head Coach

- Kabras Sugar beat Sigalagala to lift the first edition of Ingoo 7s held at Kanduyi Stadium. University of Eldoret’s Trojans beat Mbale RFC 34-14 to lift the Bowl

- Kenya makes a clean sweep of the Elgon Cup as three teams won their reverse ties at home; Kenya U19 Vs Uganda U19 27-12 (37-12 aggregate), Kenya Lionesses Vs Uganda Lady Cranes 39-10 (72-25 agg.), Kenya Vs Uganda 34-0 (48-21 agg.)

- Laiser Hill School survived a late rally to beat Lenana 18-13 to their maiden Prescott Cup, with a 18-13 at the RFUEA ground. In the precursor, Nairobi school participating in the unfamiliar Damu Pevu was floored in the final by Muchiri Muhuri

- Kenya falls way short of a podium finish at the 2014 Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow, Scotland. A 19-7 fall to New Zealand in the main cup quarters sent Kenya to the Plate semis where they were dispatched 28-7 by Wales

- Maseno School clinch the East Africa School games rugby crown after 13-3 win over Uganda’s Hanna in the final played at the Dar es Salaam University. Antony Jerim’s two penalties and Elly Mgunde’s converted try were enough for the Kenyans to win the title.

August

- Flyer Willy Ambaka roped in by Western Province, South Africa on a two year deal soon after a year’s stay at French side Lyon Olympique

- KCB start the Safaricom 7s Series with a bang, claiming Kabeberi’s with a 24-0 win over Harlequins. They went on to lift Dala 7s the next weekend with a 21-5 final result over Homeboyz RFC. The latter would turn the tables on KCB to win the Driftwood 7s 21-17 two weeks later in Mombasa

- Host Nakuru RFC make the final of the Prinsloo 7s, but fall 26-10 to unstoppable KCB who claim it for a third straight year.

- Kenya U18 finished fourth overall at the Youth Olympics rugby sevens competition after losing 12-0 to Fiji in the bronze medal match in Nanjing, China. The team had earlier beaten Fiji 17-12 to make the semis where they lost 19-12 to Argentina.

- Coach Paul Murunga leads Kenya U19 aka Chipu to the CAR U-19 final in Windheok. But the side misses out on the International Rugby Board’s 2015 Junior World Trophy tournament in Portugal following a 52-17 loss to host Namibia.

September

- Resurgent Mwamba beats Impala 24-14to lift the 50th edition of Christie 7s, the fifth and final leg of the Safaricom 7s Series as Kulabu winger Dennis Ombachi is named MVP. At the close of the Series, KCB’s winger Jacob Ojee is named overall MVP, and best Try scorer with 24 touch downs to his credit. Homeboyz playmaker Augustine Lugonzo is named best point scorer with 170.

- Kenya falters at the Safari 7s, giving up their crown by only reaching the quarters. Coach Paul Treu forced to test out many new players as all senior players failed to attend practice due to contractual issues with the Union.

- The Kevin Wambua coached Kenya Lionesses miss out on the 2014/15 IRB Women's Sevens World Series after failing to make the last four during qualifiers in Hong Kong with three straight defeats to Japan (0-31), Fiji (0-45) and Argentina (19-5).

October

- Seven new players; Bush Mwale,Oliver Mangeni, Augustine Lugonzo, Jacob Ojee, Alex Olaba, Martin Owila and Michael Wamalwa make the squad to the first leg of the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series. Team narrowly misses on the main cup quarters to end up as second best to Canada in the Shield.

- Laiser Hill adds another feather to their cap, dethroning Ofafa Jericho as Schools’ floodies Champions with a 30-10 win. Their star player Joel Inzuga was named MVP as Ofafa pair Chris Omondi and Patrick Mutuku were best try scorers and point scorers respectively.

- KCB knocks out Quins 30-3 to retain Floodies title, to lift their fourth nightly title at Impala Grounds. Earlier on, Blak Blad hit USIU 20-16 to retain the Varsity title. USIU’s - Kamarango Kimutai was MVP, and so was KCBs Allan Omuka

- Ragahouse.com, the site that homes in on raga from all corners of the country comes into being

- Homeboyz beats Kisii Select 28-5 to scoop Kshs 300,000 in lifting the first edition of Kisii 7s at Gusii Stadium. Kisii Select settles for Kshs 200,000

- North Rift town of Eldoret – Uasin Ngishu County hosts the inaugural Chebarbar 7s over one day. Hosts Eldoret RFC beats Kabras Sugar RFC 17-5 to lift the trophy

- Bungoma Sharks mauled local rivals Bungoma RFC 17-0 to bag the second edition of the Mundu Khu Mundu 7s at Kanduyi Stadium. In the Schools category, St. Peter’s Mumias came out tops after beating Kakamega High 15-0.

November

- All leagues kick off; the Kenya Cup, Eric Shirley Shield and the Nationwide Leagues.

- Impala Saracens beats Homeboyz 10-5 to lift the first ever Kajiado 7s at the east African University. Ngong RFC made a statement in winning the Plate. Impala Academy player Billy Omondi is named MVP.

- Kenya’s Shujaa beaten 38-5 by South Africa in Harare, Zimbabwe to be dethroned as CAR 7s Champions.

- Kenya Sevens Star Oscar Ouma joins the paid ranks in Sri Lanka signing a two year deal with Kandy Sports Club. Two week later he is joined by Mwamba’s Horace Otieno who lands at Police Sports club on a year’s deal.

- Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) shock all in making the final of the freshly set up Kings of Rugby, a one day event that brought 12 Universities at the RFUEA ground. They settle for Kshs 75,000 after being blown 62-5 by Strathmore Leos who pick up Kshs 150,000.

December

- After Dubai 7s where Kenya lost to Canada in the Shield final, Paul Treu resigns as Kenya sevens National Coach; his last assignment being the Port Elizabeth 7s where Kenya made the Bowl final.

- Felix Ochieng, the long serving Kenya 7s assistant Coach since 2006 named by the KRU Board as Treu’s replacement for the rest of the 2014/15 season

- Mwangi Muthee resigns as KRU Chair, days after Directors Godwin Karuga and Maurice Masiga. The Board acts with speed to replace him with Treasurer Gabriel Ouko the very next day

- TUM beats South Coast Pirates 4-2 to lift the inaugural Malindi Beach Rugby

- Bush Mwale crowned second edition Magharibi Michezo Awards Rugby Player of the Year. Western Bulls aka Echulusi player Elkins Musonye scoops the Most Promising Rugby Player

- Mara ten-a-side set for the Narok Sports Arena is called off to a ‘later date’ due to venue safety issues

- Kenya Lionesses falls to Wales Women’s National 29-0 in the Plate final at the Dubai Intetnational Invitational Women’s tournament in Dubai

 

Patrick Korir
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