Sunday, September 28, 2008

Years of toil paying for Nakuru

Nakuru RFC players celebrates with Zain enterprise cup after beating Mwamba 34-24 in the finals at RFUEA grounds. Photo/CHRIS OMOLLO 

By THE PUNTER

With the victory in Zain Enterprise Cup over the weekend, Nakuru RFC is reaping the fruits of year of hard work and an elaborate programme which started nearly 10 years ago.

That Nakuru has been able to attract players from the expansive Rift Valley is a true testimony of the efforts invested in the club. One of the officials Kirori Mindo says the club depends entirely on well-wishers who have faith in it.

“Most of our players are young and jobless. The bulk are school leavers but we have managed to convince them to stay in Nakuru” he explained.

The business community in Nakuru have been slow in grabbing an opportunity to help the club out

“We have very supportive people from the business community but the association is only periodic which cannot enable us plan properly,” Mindo says.

It was also not lost to him that two self-supporting clubs, Mwamba and Nakuru defied all odds and beat some of the big clubs.

Sponsorship deal

Mwamba RFC, the current Kenya Rugby Football Union National Sevens Circuit champions sealed a Sh500,000 sponsorship deals with Coca Cola before the Zain Enterprise Cup final.

Nakuru RFC has ‘exported’ most players out of the country and still remains formidable. Three players - Edwin Shimenga, John Wandari and Paul Kemboi are in Canada. Churchill Ominde and Ben Kamau are in the United Kingdom.

Two players - Uvinalis Makonjio and Joseph Sejo Makokha - went to Germany. amine Onkoba, Billy Sato and Martin Opondo played in New Zealand.

Those in the USA include Bernard Njoroge, Tony Muturi, Ernest Waweru, Ken Kanyi, Kevin Mugambi and Denis Mburu among others.

On Saturday, it was a sea-saw battle with the lead changing hands four times. It was Steve Sewe who drew the first blood for Mwamba touching down for 5-0 lead. His opposite number, Davis Yanga levelled for Nakuru RFC.

The turning point was in the 25th minute when Che Ikongo completed an aggressive attack by Nakuru forwards.

Wariuki converted for Nakuru RFC to lead 12-8. Mwamba were back in the lead when Injera carried three Nakuru RFC players over the line.

Wariuki put over a penalty in the 43rd minute for the lead to change hands for the fourth as Nakuru RFC led 15-13. Richmond Baraza barged over from a line out five metres out.

Asego missed the conversion as Mwamba regained the lead 18-15.

Stretched the lead

It was the last time they led. Wariuki levelled the scores in the 52nd minute with a penalty and stretched the lead with another penalty in the 55th minute.

Tito Oduk levelled for Mwamba at 21-21 in the 57th minute Yanga crossed for his second. Mose was next over to stretch the lead 31-21. Oduk replied with a penalty for Mwamba.

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