2017 was a year of mixed fortunes for the Rugby fraternity, our beloved sport was hit by sad news of losing former Kenyan International Mike Okombe among other youngsters and legends.
In the calendar year Kenya Simbas finished second Africa Gold Cup, took part in Hong Kong Nations Cup while Kenya 7s dropped to the 12th position on World 7s Standings. KCB and Kabras fans had something to smile about same to Oilers fans.
Scrummages takes a look at the the top stories in 2017:
On 4th November 2017, Okombe who was back to Nakuru to clear with Wanyore ahead of his move to Kabras RFC was stabbed and died few hours later. The news of his death left whole country in great grief and shock. He was the second rugby players to be killed in a period of three months. In July, KCB Rugby star James kilonzo had been shot dead. Trojans fly half Hazary Murimi passed on a week, MMUST youngster Kevin Opondo passed on after nursing a long term injury, Mike Ouma of USIU had an accident while leaving a building. Homeboyz and Kenya Harlequins legends Peter Wekesa and George Gachui also left us. Read more…
Every coach has his policies and philosophies. The arrival of Charles Cardovillis in Kakamega saw Kabras change their recruitment policies. The side decided to do away with the Fijians with their plan being to focus on building local talent. On their way National 7s Circuit triumph, Timothy Mmasi, David Amboso, Jacob Okumba and Dominic Osino featured for the side. Osino played the entire series while Okumba was ruled out of the last tournament following an ankle injury. So far the side has only three foreigners from Uganda; Asuman Mugerwa, Ivan Kirabo and Philip Wokorach. Read more….
3.Kenya Cup Transfers
In the November transfer window, Kenya Cup defending champions KCB announced that they were finalizing a deal with former Kenyan 15s skipper Brian Nyikuli, Mclanhan Sikukuu, Joel Maingi. Adrian Opondo also crossed over to the Ruaraka from Strathmore.
Homeboyz announced the arrival of five stars. Churchil Ooko’s move however failed to materialize. Kabras captured Ugandan International Asuman Mugerwa, bought Andrew Chogo and Bram Mayaka from Homeboyz. Kevin Keegan, Coleman Were and Charlton Mokua also joined the Kakamega based side.
Kenya under 20 star Melvin Thairu moved to Kenya Harlequins alongside fve stars. The six joined Solomon Okia,Joseph Aredo as well as Aaron Ofoyrwoth who had earlier joined the side from Uganda. Read more…
Just after the Hong Kong trip, Kenya Rugby Union announced that South Africa boss Jerome Paarwater would no longer be the head coach of kenya Simba. The Western Province coach had guided Kenya to a second spot finishing in the Africa Cup. Read more
5.KCB winning double
KCB continued their dominance over Kabras, thrashing them 36-8 to reclaim the Kenya Cup title they had won in 2015. Few weeks later they edged the Sugarmen 27-23 to win the Enterprise cup for the third time in a row. 2017 has been a good year for the Bankers as they beat Impala to win the Impala floodlit tournament.
Having finished the 15s season without a trophy, Kabras won Christie and Sepetuka, got a podium finish at Dala 7s and Kabeberi and a fifth place at Prinsloo and Driftwood 7s. With a total of 102 points, the side topped the standing and took over the overall title from Homeboyz RFC who had won it in 2017. Read more..
After the High court dismissed the case presented by betting firms challenging the new tax laws, Sportpesa which sponsors Kenya 7s, 15s and Kenya Harlequins threaten to withdraw the sponsorship. The laws passed by Kenyan Parliament are set to be implement in 2018 January. On 31 December, Sportpesa terminated the contract. Read more…
Kenya Simbas thrilled fans at the RFUEA in the Africa Gold Cup beating the North African side 100-10. It was a record win for the Kenya Simba in 2017. Read More…
9. Oilers in the cup final
Former Kenya International Gibson Weru is building a team for the future. His young side shocked many by making it to the semifinals of Driftwood 7s. They reach the semifinals at Sepetuka 7s, quarterfinals at Christie 7s and the moment their fans will live to remember is the Kabeberi 7s where they made it to the finals. The side is unbeaten in the 15s version and have managed to defend the Impala Floodies University title.
10. High school rugby
Kenya rugby schools once again impressed in the East African school games. Laiser Hill dethroned Kakamega and won the East African Title, Kakamega came second while Muhiri Muchiri won the 7s title. Kakamega had won the 15s national title with Menengai high winning the 7s title.
Let us know your rugby memorable moment in 2017 in the comments box….