RUGBY: Western Bulls ready to upset top guns today

By Clement Wekulo: Saturday, July 20th 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Rugby
Walter Okoth (left) of Top Fry Nakuru RCF battles for the ball with Solomon Obiero of Western Bulls during the Enterprising Cup at Nakuru Athletics cup on March 9, 2019. [Kipsang Joseph/Standard]

Despite carrying the underdog tag in Pool A, Western Bulls coach Bram Shikanda believes his charges will give a good account of themselves as the National Sevens Circuit begins today in Kakamega.

Bulls, who are co-hosting the two-day showpiece with neighbours Kabras Sugar at their Bull Ring home ground, have been drawn with top seeds and Circuit defending champions Homeboyz as well as four-time winners Impala Saracens.

Nakuru outfit Menengai Oilers, who have in recent times confirmed their status as a rising force in Kenyan rugby, are also in the pool.

“That is definitely the tournament’s pool of death. We are the underdogs on paper but that does not mean that we can’t compete favourably. We acknowledge the fact that the other three teams have better players but we shall be out to give a good perfomance,” Shikanda told Standard Sportsearlier this week.

Shikanda has issued a rallying call to the club’s fans to show up in large numbers as he believes that will go a long way in motivating the home team.

“Playing at home is always a key factor in such tournaments. My boys understand the field quite well and I hope they can use that to their advantage,” Shikanda said.

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In what is the first National Sevens Circuit leg to be held in Kakamega, Echulusi, as Bulls are fondly referred to, are expected to launch their quest against Homeboyz before matches against Impala and Oilers follow.

Meanwhile, two-time National Sevens Circuit winners Nakuru RFC are hoping to start the season on a high as they face Kenya Harlequin and varsity sides Egerton and Strathmore Leos in Pool D.

Nakuru, who clinched the Driftwood Sevens title last year, are the favourites to progress from the pool together with Quins.

“We saw Strathmore at Embu Sevens and faced Egerton in a friendly so they are very familiar opponents. Quins have been dominant in Sevens and it will depend on how we execute our plays because there are no pushovers,” Nakuru RFC coach Mitch Ocholla said.

“It is always our target to win and we are going to Kakamega with the same mindset. It is a new environment since it’s the first time a Sevens leg is being hosted in Kakamega and we hope the weather will be favourable,” added Ocholla.

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