Samurai out to defend Kenya International title

By Standard Sports: Friday, September 14th 2018 at 09:39 GMT +3 | Sports
Samurai's Brad MacGibbon (left) and Tony Sugden of Sandstorm during International Polo Tournament at Nairobi Polo Club on Sept 17, 2017. [Photo: Jonah Onyango].

Samurai are out to defend Kenya International polo tournament title that will run for two weekends starting today at the Nairobi Polo Club (NPC).

The champions have sought the services of South African hard hitter, Brad MacGibbon, whose skills helped the side to lift the trophy last year.

“Brad has returned to Kenya to help us secure the cup. He is the best-mounted international player one can ever have in their team,” Samurai captain and NPC Vice Chairman, Raphael Nzomo, underlined.

The club edged R.J Polo 7.5-6, Royal Salute 4.5-4 and Samsung 7.5-5 on their way to clinching the coveted trophy in 2017.

Samurai, which has MacGibbon, Mbu Ngugi (handicap 2.5), Kenya U-18 star, Jadini Nzomo (-1) and Lord Cranworth Cup’s Most Valuable Player, Tony Sugden (1), will start their title defence bid against  White Cap Lager in the Six-Goal tournament to run from today to Sunday.

 “It will be an adrenaline-filled two weeks of action. We have done enough practice, our horses are set. We are ready for our opponents,” Nzomo underscored.

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The victors have all the reasons to be cautious in the clash as White Cap Lager have also engaged the services of Kenya international and handicap five player Jamie Murray, a successful farmer on the slopes of Mount Kenya.

“I’m happy that I reached my ambition to be a handicap five player after trying for years.

“This has inspired me. I just want to take my seeding to the next level,” said Murray, who has had professional stints in England, Thailand, Australia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Barbados.

Work-In-Progress comprise Philou Salle (2), Kimoi Moi (2), Lorenzo Soriano (1) and Geoff Morley (1) will tackle Afrika Aviation that will be aided by another South African high profile scorer, Gareth Evans, who is currently at handicap five.

“I have very wild ideas. I hope to be a billionaire in the future. My vision is to be a handicap 10 player before I retire from this game. I’m dreaming of playing championships with my own family as a team,” said Evans.

Mombasa Island Cargo Terminal (MICT) have also brought in veteran player, Buster MacKenzie, from South Africa.

MacKenzie (4), who used to give opponents sleepless nights at the venue some years back, has jetted in with his son, Chris, who will be the highest rated player in the tournament at handicap seven.

The MICT will take on White Cap Lite as Governors Camp battles Ultimate Security that has been boosted by Johan du Preez (4), also from South Africa, in the other fixtures of the day.

“The Six-Goal contest will help lower seeded players to interact and play against highly rated professionals who have been brought in by the teams.

“This will be followed by the 14-Goal challenge that will only be contested by experienced players next week,” Nzomo explained.

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