The race for securing a playoff spot in this season’s KRU Championship had to be decided on the last day of the regular games. Egerton Wasps was one of the teams involved in the last minute scramble for the last two slots on offer.
Even though they didn’t do themselves a favour by loosing their last match of the regular season 18-13 to USIU, Egerton Wasps would eventually claim the number six spot thanks to the 40-20 hiding of South Coast Pirates at the hands of the ruthless Strathmore Leos.
By achieving this fate, captain Barry Opondo feels this has been the best season ever since joining the club two years ago.
“This is the best season we’ve had. I believe the club completed the transition from a nationwide side to a championship side,” Barry Opondo told the Scrummage.
“We had targeted reaching the quarters[playoffs] . We were tired of just being participants. Qualifying for Kenya Cup is always a light at the end of the tunnel”
Egerton Wasps managed to reach the playoffs after winning only six matches. Their home matches formed the bulk of the points they amassed this season. They won against Kisii, Northern Suburbs, Mombasa, Eldoret and a double against UoE Trojans.
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The going has not been that easy for the boys from Njoro in Nakuru. Their journey always had stumbling blocks, ranging from not having a coach to the University strike that led to the school being closed down in December 2019. Thanks to their well organized alumni association who came in handy in working on traveling logistics they managed to train and play the games amid the school closure. Barry was quick to point out some of the challenges they encountered along their campaign. He believes they would have done better.
“We didn’t have a coach. This has made us be responsible for our progress individually and collectively as players. We trained ourselves, selected the squad and made subs during game days. This has led us to suffer some unnecessary losses of which this season’s performance would have been better”
“Support has been an issue since the school is having financial difficulties . We have had to get funds from individuals and old boys to honor fixtures. For a team with no training equipment whatsoever [even a scrum machine] but just a few balls, we are proud of where we have come from and the future is bright as we continue to search for sponsors,”Barry added.
The Egerton number eight attributes their rise to change of style of play to suit the ones teams in Championship are using.
“We have developed our attack and defense. Improved set pieces which are a key part of our play. Plus we have adapted to the type of play used by teams in this tier, ”Barry said.
Egerton Wasps were scheduled to travel to Nairobi in late March to face off with their fellow students Mean Machine with the winner in this clash booking a date with Masinde Muliro University for a chance of Kenya Cup qualification.
“Being the only Championship side in Nakuru,we want to be counted as a formidable team and not necessarily just a feeder team to the Kenya Cup sides”