Rugby: Homeboyz coach says Oilers also be big threat in title pursuit

By Rodgers Eshitemi: Saturday, September 9th 2017 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Rugby
THE TOP FRY GREAT RIFT 10 ASIDE Don Odhiambo of Menengai cream Homeboyz battles for the ball with Geoffrey Ominde of Top Fry Nakuru RFC during the Quarter Finals of The top Fry Great Rift 10 Aside at Nakuru Athletics club (NAC ) on April 16, 2017 .PHOTO:KIPSANG JOSEPH

Rugby:  Murunga wary of Nakuru, Machine

It’s a dogfight as top guns battle at Kabeberi Sevens tournament.

Homeboyz RFC coach Paul ‘Pau’ Murunga considers Nakuru RFC, Menengai Oilers and Mean Machine a threat in their bid to retain the National Sevens Circuit title.

The Deejays started their title defence on a promising note after clinching the Driftwood Sevens, the opening round of the season, in Mombasa last weekend.

However, it was not a walk in the park for Homeboyz as they struggled to beat Oilers 10-5 in the semi-finals before seeing off Nakuru, the 2015 series champions, 17-7 in the final.

As the season enters round two with the Kabeberi Sevens tournament at the RFUEA Grounds today and tomorrow, Murunga maintains that he still targets to retain the overall title.

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Homeboyz, who have been drawn with Nondescripts, hosts Mwamba and Daystar Falcons in Pool A, clinched their first ever series title last year after gracing all the six finals; winning three and losing three.

Good show

For them to achieve the feat, the former Kenya Sevens assistant coach insists his side must replicate last season’s good show by qualifying for the quarter-finals.

“Of course it is going to be tough matches against Nondies and Mwamba, but we expect to qualify for quarters in Day One. Once we are in the quarters, we get 10 points and that’s when we shift our focus to the finals,” Murunga told Standard Sports.

“It is still too early to start talking about the title, but from Driftwoods performance we expect a tough and exciting season. Nakuru, Oilers and Mean Machine played some good rugby, an indication that it is going to be a competitive season.

“Machine showed character, but unlike Kabras Sugar I don’t know if they have strength in depth to finish the season on a high note.”

Even with the likes of Oscar Ayodi, Bush Mwale and Augustine Lugonzo excluded from the squad as they are expected to have a busy season with the national sevens team, Homeboyz’s talent factory seems not to be closing shop any time soon.

The quartet of Stanley Isogon (forward), Zeden Marrow (centre), Mark Wandeto (Winger) and Jan Otieno (Centre/winger) proved their mettle as they dovetailed well with regulars (Leonard Mugaisi and Cyprian Kuto) to stage a brilliant circuit debut in Mombasa.

“Even without our experienced players, we still have enough depth to feature in the series. We could have decided to use the likes of Ayodi, but the big picture is to expose these young players,” said Murunga.