Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) successfully defended the overall Safaricom Sevens crown, despite bowing out of the Christie Sevens tournament at the Bowl stages on Sunday evening.
Playing at the RFUEA grounds, KCB failed to spark the fire that has seen them string together a series of victories in the circuit. However, head coach Curtis Olago claimed he was not a worried man given that they had done enough to claim the overall title.
“We knew what we had to do to win in this tournament, and despite the poor showing here today (yesterday) we were able to retain the title,” he explained. “Our boys have been playing well throughout the circuit and we have rightfully reaped the fruit of our hard work.”
In a surprise outcome, Mwamba RFC won the Christie Sevens after beating Impala RFC 24-14 in a tense final. According to Mwamba head coach John Mbai, they finally got their groove right after four failed attempts.
“We did not execute well in the previous tournaments, and our undoing was the number of mistakes we made, which we eventually got punished for. We are glad that we had a number of young players involved in the circuit and they have given a good account of themselves.”
Plate Winner Homeboyz RFC were glad to finish the circuit in second position overall despite missing the chance of emerging champions. Homeboyz were the only team that stood a mathematical chance of catching up with KCB, if they won the Christie Sevens, but a 7-0 loss to Strathmore in the quarter-finals meant KCB had wrapped up the silverware.
“I wouldn’t say that we are devastated because we didn’t win the Christie Sevens. You have to realise that we were not only competing against KCB, but also all the other rugby clubs involved in the circuit,” said head Coach Paul Murunga.
“We would have loved to cause a major upset this late into the circuit, but we will accept the gains that we have made so far and hope that we can keep on improving.”
Bowl winners Nondies RFC were ecstatic after beating KCB 21-5 in the Bowl Finals. According to Coach Victor Walgwe, it is never easy to beat a team like KCB and credit is due to the side for putting up a spirited fight.
“We did not have a very good first day and we made quite a number of mistakes. We definitely would have preferred to finish the tournament at a better position, but I will commend the boys for the fighting spirit they showed on the second day.”
“We began the circuit with a target of playing in all the Main Cup competition in all the legs and I think we have not once played in the Shield level. This shows there was a level of improvement from previous campaigns,” he concluded.
By BS MULAVI, The Standard