Menengai Oilers buoyant after rising to series summit

Wednesday September 13 2017

Menengai Oilers’ Harold Ojango breaks away from a tackle during their match against Strathmore University in semi-finals of the Main Cup during the Kabeberi Sevens at the RFUEA ground on September 10, 2017. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Menengai Oilers’ Harold Ojango breaks away from a tackle during their match against Strathmore University in semi-finals of the Main Cup during the Kabeberi Sevens at the RFUEA ground on September 10, 2017. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By AYUMBA AYODI
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Menengai Oilers coach Gibson Weru has warned his charges against complacency despite moving to the top of the National Sevens Series standing even after losing to Impala Saracens in the final of Kabeberi Sevens on Sunday.

Menengai Oilers lost to Impala 22-5 at Kabeberi Sevens final but still toppled Series defending champions Homeboyz from the top of the log.

Weru, a former Kenya Sevens player, said that they will not lose focus even with their good run at Driftwood and Kabeberi Sevens. Oilers collected 17 points from Driftwood followed by 19 at Kabeberi Sevens to go top with a total of 36 points, two better than Impala Saracens and Homeboyz, who have 34 points each.

“After finishing 10th on our debut season last year with our best show coming with Bowl victory at Kabeberi, we set the target of finishing in top six this season,” said Weru.

The coach added that they are still on course but what is important will be consistency throughout the season.

“We have been able to remain consistent in the first two legs and it’s my hope that the players uphold the momentum as the season continues to roll out,” he said while acknowledging that the level of competition has greatly improved with the top 10 teams still in contention for the top prize.

While Weru hailed a great team work from his charges, he singled out Harold Anduvate, who was voted the Most Valuable Player at Kabeberi, Eric Ombasa and Sam Guregi for their exceptional display.

Weru pointed out the upset by Machine at Driftwood and rise of Strathmore Leos, Impala Saracens and Nondescripts at Kabeberi Sevens.

Sarries scaled four places to second after getting 22 points for their successful defence of their Kabeberi Sevens title. Impala, handled by former Kenya Sevens skipper Oscar Osir, had finished sixth at Driftwood to earn 12 points.

Oilers, who are in their second season since formation, finished third in the opening leg in Mombasa the previous weekend when they beat surprise package Mean Machine from the University of Nairobi 21-5 in the play-offs.

After winning Driftwood to get 22 points, Homeboyz found the going tough at Kabeberi where they finished sixth to get 12 points, losing to Kenya Commercial Bank 24-12 in the play-off for fifth. They dropped two places to third since Impala have a better aggregate.

Kabras Sugar scaled one place to fourth with 28 points after they got 15 points from Kabeberi where they lost to 22-12 to Strathmore Leos in the play-off for third.

Nakuru dropped three places to fifth with a total of 27 points after they finished eighth at Kabeberi Sevens while Leos, who finished 10th at Driftwood for five points, got 17 points for their bronze medal exploits at Kabeberi to scale to sixth with 22 points. 

Impala stunned Kenya Commercial Bank and Kabras Sugar 17-0 and 29-10 in the quarters and semis respectively before downing Oilers in the final.

Oilers also upset Kenya Harlequin and Strathmore Leos 31-5 and 22-17 respectively before meeting their waterloo in the Sarries.

The Leos had claimed the big scalp of Series champions Homeboyz 13-10 in quarters before losing to Oilers 22-17 with a last minute try.