Nondies will not let go of top talent in transfer window

By Clement Wekulo: Monday, December 23rd 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Rugby
Lucas Atito (right) of Top Fry Nakuru RFC battles for possession with Fidel Oloo of Nondescripts. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Nondescripts coach Willis Ojal is keen on strengthening his squad during the Kenya Rugby Union mid-season transfer window, which opened yesterday.

Nondies, the most successful club in the Kenya Cup league with 17 titles, squandered a half-time lead to lose to reigning champions KCB in a round nine fixture at the weekend.

The 38-12 loss to the bankers, Nondies’ sixth defeat in the 2019-20 Kenya Cup season, left the side placed eighth on the standings with 16 points and Ojal is looking to bolster his team in order to bring their campaign back on track.

Clubs are allowed to make signings until January 4 when the mini transfer window will shut before the season resumes one week later.

“We shall definitely make some signings. There are a few guys we have been chasing for some time and hopefully we shall be able to seal the deals this time,” Ojal told Standard Sports.

The coach was left to rue his team’s poor showing in the second half which allowed KCB to recover despite trailing 12-10 at the interval.  

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“We just didn’t keep possession as we should have. Credit to KCB because they did very well when it came to keeping the ball in hand and running at us. Our defense let us down in the second half so we were unable to adapt to what they were doing,” said Ojal.

“Dealing with a yellow card is never a good thing but still, we should have done much better even when we had to play with 14 men.”

With his side points below the playoffs positions (top six), Ojal believes they are still on track to achieving that goal.

“We are still on track for the playoffs and we must remember that last season, we didn’t make it. The league is a marathon and we are only half-way so we are still in it because the playoffs was our target at the beginning of the season,” said Ojal.

At the same time, Homeboyz lost ground in the race for the top two as they suffered a 18-17 loss to Mwamba.

The Deejays are now five points adrift second-placed KCB. Nakuru RFC rose from seventh to fifth after their resounding 57-26 victory of strugglers Kisumu RFC while Kenya Harlequin remain rooted at 10th despite a 21-17 victory at Blak Blad.

Premiership Rugby have announced a comprehensive independent review aimed at strengthening its salary cap regulations in the wake of the 35-point deduction and 5.36 million pounds ($6.98 million) fine imposed on champions Saracens last month.

English and European champions Saracens decided not to appeal the sanctions for failing to disclose payments in each of the past three seasons.

“The success of Premiership Rugby is based on a group of fiercely competitive clubs who agree to play by the same set of rules on and off the pitch,” Premiership Rugby’s Chief Executive Darren Childs said in a statement. The league said recommendations from the review would be delivered next year for proposed implementation before the 2020-21 season.

“The salary cap has been vital in promoting competition.”

[Additional reporting by Reuters]

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