Impala retain Kabeberi Sevens

Sunday September 10 2017

Impala Saracens players celebrate with the title after winning the Kabeberi Sevens tournament after a 22-5 win over Menengai Oilers in the final at the RFUEA grounds on September 10, 2017. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Impala Saracens players celebrate with the title after winning the Kabeberi Sevens tournament after a 22-5 win over Menengai Oilers in the final at the RFUEA grounds on September 10, 2017. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By AYUMBA AYODI
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Impala Saracens on Sunday staged attacking and defensive display as they crushed Menengai Oilers 22-5 to retain Kabeberi Sevens title at the RFUEA grounds.

Tries from Samuel Motari, Mark Kwemoi, Paul Mutsami and Ian Minjire were enough to see the Sarries, who led 17-0 at the break blow away Oilers. But not before Kwemoi converted his own try.

They might have scored only one try through Derrick Kimani but it was a great show from Oilers, who are just on their second season in the National Sevens Circuit.

Strathmore Leos, the 2009 National Sevens Circuit champions, finished third after thumping Christie Sevens champions Kabras Sugar 21-12 in the play-off.

Oilers had finished third at Driftwood Sevens, the opening leg of the National Sevens Circuit, the previous weekend where they beat Mean Machine from the University of Nairobi 21-5 in the play-off.

It was also a great improvement for Resolution sponsored Impala, who finished sixth at Driftwood Sevens.

“Strong mental focus and self-belief is what drove my team to retain the title. It’s not an easy affair especially playing against Oilers, who lay a fantastic game of sevens,” said Impala coach Oscar Osir, who is a former Kenya Sevens skipper.

Osir explained that their game management and respect to their opposition was also other key elements that contributed to their good show. “The players played to their full potential,” said Osir.

Impala Saracens crushed Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) 17-0 in the quarters before edging out Christie Sevens champions Kabras Sugar 24-15 in the semis to set up an Oilers final showdown.

Oilers, who are handled by former Kenya Sevens player Gibson Weru, stopped Kenya Harlequin 31-5 in the quarters, before Harold Anduvate sealed a hat trick of tries at the death as Weru’s charges bundled out Strathmore Leos 22-17 in the semis.

“My young players are driven with passion and every loss comes with vital lesson for them,” said Weru. “It’s about hard work and commitment.”

Both Osir and Weru warned their charges to stay focused what with a long season still ahead. “You can never relax with the Series still open what with teams like Strathmore, Oilers and Machine causing upsets,” said Osir.

Impala got off to a sterling start when Mutsami sliced through the middle before laying out Motari from a tackle to score. Kwemoi missed the conversion.

The Sarries never relented with good breaks and defence. Anthony Nyandigisi weaved through before setting up Kwemoi for their second try that he went on to convert. Kwemoi would then play the provider when he put Mutsami through for their third try as they led 17-0 at the drinks.

Mutsami was fouled by Hughes Anjera after some good exchange with Minjire and Davis Makori. Anjera was to be sin-binned.

The daring Oilers still launched their attacks with one man less but an awful intercept by Minjire in their 5metres area proved their undoing. Minjire sprinted all the way to score.

Kimani was to score Oilers try but it was little too late.