Former Great Rift 10-a-side rugby champions Nakuru RFC registered mixed fortunes as the 29th edition of the annual tournament started at Nakuru Athletics Club on Saturday.
Nakuru, popularly known as ‘Wanyore’, started their campaign to reclaim the trophy they last won in 2015 by beating rookies Makueni 24-0 in their opening match.
But in their second outing, the Felix Oloo-coached side crashed 14-17 at the hands of the swift University of Nairobi Mean Machine.
In their final preliminary match, Nakuru drew 5-5 with Menengai Oilers in a sibling rivalry that saw ‘Wanyore’ come from behind to snatch a draw.
A well-oiled Mean Machine frustrated "Wanyore" who enjoyed an overwhelming home support from the rugby mad fans.
However, in their second match, Mean Machine stalled when they lost 17-0 to Menengai Oilers who launched their title chase in a flying style to send a strong signal of what is expected of them in the tournament that ends today. Oilers won their second match when they buried the inexperienced Makueni 17-7.
Kenya Commercial Bank ( KCB) stung Egerton University Wasps 22-0 in their opening tie and followed this with another convincing 24-0 win over Kiambu.
But the bankers’ splendid run was finally brought to a halt when they were locked 12-0 by the enterprising Masinde Muliro University in a thrilling encounter that saw the students reduce the experienced KCB to beginners at the tail end of the match with brilliant ball handling skills.
The on song Masinde Muliro completed a fine afternoon with a brilliant 22-0 victory against fellow students Egerton University Wasps.
Egerton had a consolation when they were awarded a walk over after Kiambu failed to show up for the match.
Top contenders Homeboyz dismissed Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) 15-0) and in their second encounter they beat Nondies 12-7.
Nondies found themselves in the receiving end when they were thrashed 17-0 by Impala. But the white shirts avenged this defeat b beating JKUAT 27 -0. In their second match Impala beat JKUAT 34-0 while Strathmore Leos beat University of Eldoret 19-0 before humbling fellow students Moi University 43-5.
Kenyatta University Blak Blad silenced Moi University 24-0, then outplayed University of Eldoret 31-7 while University of Eldoret beat Moi University 20 - 0, and Blak Blad beat Strathmore Leos 12-5.
Mean Machine beat Makueni 12-10 to stay on course for the main cup quarter-finals on Sunday.
Homeboyz 15 JKUAT 0; Impala 17 Nondies 0; KCB 22 Egerton Wasps 0; Strathmore 19 University of Eldoret 0; Blak Bald 24 Moi University 0; Nakuru 24 Makueni 0; Menengai Oilers 17 Mean Machine 0; Impala 34 JKUAT0; Homeboyz 12 Nondies 7; KCB 24 Kiambu 0; Masinde Muliro 22 Egerton Wasps 0; Strathmore 43 Moi University 5; Blak Blad 31 University of Eldoret 7; Nakuru 14 Mean Machine 17;
Menengai Oilers 17 Makueni 7; Egerton Wasps 24 Kiambu 0; Masinde Muliro 12 KCB 5; University of Eldoret 20 Moi University 0; Blak Blad 12 Strathmore 5; Makueni 10 Mean Machine 12; Nakuru 5 Menengai Oilers 5