Rugby. Menengai survive axe as Mwamba dent Nondescripts’ Kenya Cup play-off hopes

By Clement Wekulo: Tuesday, April 2nd 2019 at 01:10 GMT +3 | Rugby
Menengai Oilers players contest a scrum during the Kenya Cup match at RFUEA grounds on Nov 17, 2018. [Jonah Onyango]

Menengai Oilers head coach Gibson Weru feels his youthful charges have finally come of age and are able to compete favourably with seasoned teams in the Kenya Cup.

In what is their first ever campaign in the top-flight, Weru’s charges have managed to claim the scalps of top sides including Kenya Harlequin, Nondescripts and most recently Homeboyz.

Consequently, their resolve, especially when playing at their Nakuru backyard, saw them confirm survival with three matches to spare.

“I have worked with the boys for the past two years and we have been laying emphasis on the fundamentals. The only thing that was lacking on our side was experience and I’m glad the boys grew in confidence as the season progressed,” Weru said after seeing his charges stun Homeboyz 26-24 at the RFUEA grounds on Saturday.

“We are not yet where we want to be, but remaining in the Kenya Cup is a platform which we hope to build on. We shall be stronger next season and probably give a stab at the playoffs,” Weru said.

Having played 15 matches, Oilers have won five, drawn two and lost eight. They are currently eighth on the standings with 31 points and are scheduled to host play-off chasing Mwamba in their last match of the season this weekend.

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Meanwhile, three playoff slots will be determined on the final day of the regular season after Impala Saracens, Mwamba and Nakuru RFC all won their respective round 15 fixtures over the weekend.

Mwamba beat Nondies 29-22 at the Jamhuri Showground, pushing the Willis Ojal-coached side out of the top six while Nakuru RFC saw off Blak Blad 29-26 at the Kenyatta University grounds.

By virtue of scoring four tries and losing by less than seven points, Blak Blad picked two points from the encounter, boosting their quest to remain in the Kenya Cup.

Impala beat Mean Machine 25-10, a result that confirmed the relegation of the University of Nairobi outfit, who are set to make an immediate return to the KRU Championship.

“Machine really disrupted our continuity, especially in the first half. We managed to come strongly for the second half, made some changes and they worked for us,” Impala coach Frank Ndong’ said.

In other matches, Kabras Sugar compounded Strathmore’s relegation fears as they thumped them 54-7 while champions KCB beat Kenya Harlequin 24-10.


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