Upsets at Kabeberi Sevens

Saturday September 9 2017

Kisii RFC's Eugene Makale (left) evades a tackle by Kenya Harlequins' Stanley Lunani during their Kabeberi 7s preliminary match on September 9, 2017 at RFUEA grounds. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Kisii RFC's Eugene Makale (left) tries to evade a tackle by Kenya Harlequins' Stanley Lunani during their Kabeberi 7s preliminary match on September 9, 2017 at RFUEA grounds. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

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Upsets were in plenty as minnows Kisii, Kenyatta University’s Blak Blad and Nondescripts claimed the scalp of big wigs when Kabeberi Sevens, the second leg of the National Sevens Series got underway on Saturday at the RFUEA grounds.

However, as predicted Series champions Homeboyz, who are fresh from winning Driftwood Sevens last weekend, Christie Sevens champions Kabras Sugar and Menengai Oilers easily slayed their opponents to ease through to the main Cup quarterfinals.

After they were almost embarrassed by Daystar to square it out for a 12-12 draw in their Pool A opener, Nondies would recover for the first upset of the day, downing hosts Mwamba 19-17 in their second match.

It’s a defeat that confined Mwamba to their second consecutive Challenge Trophy appearance after they had lost 22-14 to Homeboyz in their opening match.

Kenya Harlequin might have escaped the wrath of Kisii when they claimed a slim 19-15 victory in Pool B opener, but Nakuru, who reached the final at Driftwood last weekend, were not lucky.

The Kisii side stream-rolled over 2015 Series champions Nakuru 14-12 in Pool B duel, as Blak Blad handed the hapless Kabeberi Sevens titleholders Impala Saracens a 21-7 defeat in Pool C.

“We missed a good opportunity to say Quins in the opening match after some defensive lapse, missed conversions and poor officiating costing us,” said Kisii coach Eric Bosire. ‘”We executed our game plan well for the victory against Nakuru.”

Kisii were due to meet KCB in their last of Pool B duel.

Kisii turned on the style when Boaz Ombura converted Eugene Makale’s try to level the proceedings against Nakuru. It’s George Kimani, who landed before Geoffrey Ominde converted to give the Great Rift side the lead. Kelvin Kioko gave Nakuru a 12-7 lead at the break with a try.

John Ochara converted his own try in the second half to give Kisii victory.

A hat-trick of tries from Ian Omara that went unconverted saw Kisii losing to Quins, who managed three tries through Aron Ofoyrwoth, Roxy Suchi and Solomon Okia. Eric Shikuku converted two of them to save the day for Quins, who led 12-10 at the drinks.

Ian Mijire’s try that Anthony Nyandigisi to put Impala ahead 7-0 is perhaps what brought out the best from Blak Blad. Wesley Kidiga and Franz Obudo laded a try each as Brain Wahinya converted the give the varsity lads a 14-7 lead at the break. Steve Biko went for their third try as Wahinya added the extras to finish off Impala.

Homeboyz and Kabras sealed their place in the quarters with comfortable wins in Pool A and D respectively. After clipped Mwamba, the Deejays went on to thump Daystar 27-0 while Kabras beat Makueni 24-0 and Strathmore Leos 28-7 respectively.

Oilers handed Blak Blad and Catholic Monks 36-7 and 47-7 defeats to reign in Pool C.

Homeboyz were to meet Nondies while Kabras were up against Machine to decide their respective pools winners.

“The two opening legs of Driftwood and Kabeberi are two crucial to our Series defence. We shall be on the right track with victory at Kabeberi since three victories out of six should seal the Series for us,” said Homeboyz coach Paul Murunga.

“We have achieved our target by reaching the main cup but we still have a long way to go. We just need to be careful especially with lots of upset coming through on the first day,” said Kabras Sugar coach Charles Cardovillis. “Some teams who were in main cup at Driftwood have dropped to challenge trophy.”