Friday, March 25, 2011

Youngsters fire Quins to imperious double

The victorious Quins absolutely delirious after their Enterprise Cup victory over Impala last weekend.

The victorious Quins absolutely delirious after their Enterprise Cup victory over Impala last weekend. 

By CHARLES OUKO charlesouko@yahoo.com

Kenya Harlequins RFC won their 10th Enterprise Cup title 10-3,against Impala Club in the 73rd final on a rain-sodden Rugby Football Union (RFUEA) Ngong Road Ground on March 19.

This was the 2010 final that was being belatedly played, similar to the 2010 Kenya Cup that Harlequins had won a month earlier, going unbeaten in both premier competitions!

Harlequins first Enterprise Cup win was in 1955 while Impala, who were on ten titles  going into this final, first won in 1961 and last in 2005. Harlequins were also the defending champions. Nondescripts hold the all time record with 25 title wins.

For this imperious form that has landed the club a Kenya Cup and Enterprise Cup double without a single defeat, tribute must be given to both the Quins technical staff headed by Eddie Kinyany.

Much of the credit though, goes to a clutch of supremely gifted young talent -the Quintuplets of Isaac Adimu 19, Dennis Muhanji 20, Allan Omuka 21, Willy Ambaka 21 and Agunda.

Supremely gifted

Pick of the crop has to be fly half Isaac Adimu and utility back Agunda. It will surprise many that Harlequins unbeaten run in both premier competitions has been orchestrated by the 19 year old Adimu who is known as ‘Izzo’ to all.

Precocious in play and prodigious in talent, this kid never puts a foot wrong when executing decisions to either kick or set up open play.

His wobbly but ultimately accurate dropped goal got Harlequins into the Enterprise Cup semi-final courtesy of a 23-22 win over Kenya Commercial Bank in the quarters.

He steps off both feet and will easily surpass other Kenyan fly half greats such as Sammy Khakame,David Madara, the late Bimbo Mutere and possibly even David Evans!

The near complete old head on young shoulders. Agunda on the other hand is built like the legendary Jackson Omaido and attacks and defends like Jacko!!

Crucial tries

When his physical and technical attributes are fully developed, he shall be unstoppable. Without taking anything away from the others, Omuka, Ambaka and Muhanji all scored crucial tries in their clubs double League and Cup winning campaign.

Ambaka and Agunda are on the Kenya Sevens team. Muhanji has toured as well last year and now fully recovered from knee surgery, Omukas call up is surely just a matter of time.

For “Izzo’,when his call up for either the long or short version does arrive, he will only be displaced by voluntary retirement!

Formidable sevens squad

This Quins squad can very quickly be turned into a formidable sevens squad, that would give the Kenya team a serious run for its money!

Back to the 73rd final. Scores were 5-3 at half time, with flanker Tony Mutai opening the finals scoring on ten minutes before Ian “Namcos”Simiyu kicked a penalty for Impala.

Impala’s then went the next one hour  scoreless, including the entire second half; the first time in a long time of the Gazelles illustrious history!

Harlequins star player of the final, among their crop of outstanding young talent was Patrice Agunda 21. Two minutes into the second half he industriously chased a 40 metres up and under that had been hoisted by full back Sydney Ashioya.

Agunda pressurized Impala winger Tony Onyango to spill the ball and in one move, the Quins man went to ground collected the ball and off loaded a three metre pass to his captain Victor Sudi supporting him on his left for the easiest of run ins.

Sudi thus emerging tops in the battle of siblings against his brother Simiyu. Peter Abuoga put in big hits through out the match with the most memorable being on the hour when he run the width of the pitch to take out into touch the flying and very impressive Impala winger Dan Wekhu; in what was undoubtedly a try saving tackle that had the large crowd on its feet.

Abuoga missed two easy first half penalties and both conversation attempts; but ultimately they did not matter.

Smart play

The clouds opened on the hour and thereafter Impala did the smart play by hoisting the ball and keeping the defending champions pinned in their half in a match competently handled by Irishman and UK Premier league referee Colin Stanley.

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