SLOW PUNCTURE? Once a dreaded outfit Nakuru RFC no longer instill fear in opponents since Habimana's exit
RUGBY By Ben Ahenda | October 10th 2016
Although Top Fry Nakuru RFC made it to the semi-final of the Impala Floodlit Championships, losing 28-26, KCB at Impala Club over the weekend, the absence of former coach Dominique Habimina is still being felt.
Habimana left the club at the end of last season after a three year successful stint that saw them lift the Kenya Cup League title for two consecutive years besides winning the National Sevens Circuit title and a host of other tournaments.
His fatherly figure made him command respect among all players and officials and it could have been an inspiration towards Nakuru RFC’S achievements even though the team’s performance started going down shortly before he left.
After his departure, the team also lost a number of key players, who include lock cum flanker Martin Owila who joined Kenya Commercial Bank, prop Joseph Odero who moved to Kabras Sugar and centre Kevin Omiyo who shifted to Impala RFC.
Owila left the Wanyore side for the bankers after he secured a scholarship with a local university which forced him to shift his base to Nairobi, Odero and Omiyo left the club for greener pastures.
However, Nakuru RFC Coach Enos Otieno is beaming with confidence and says his squad is intact and they do not have vacuum at the technical bench.
Otieno said they still boast experienced players who ensured they won the Mwamba Cup three weeks back and more trophies are going to come their way with the assistance of Jotham Owili, who was Habimana’s deputy.
“In fact, we are stronger than before and determined to make a formidable performance in the Kenya Cup League and in future tournaments,” he said.
The Kenya Cup League kicks off on November 5.
Habimana has since joined Kenya Harlequins where he is the technical director and deputises Jerome Paarwater at the national 15s side - The Simbas.
“There should be no cause for alarm at our technical bench since positive results are still flowing in and more good results would come in our future matches”, Otieno told Feverpitch at Nakuru Athletic Club before they left for the Impala Floodlit semifinal match against the bankers.
After Habimana’s departure, their Sevens coach Gibson Weru also left for the newly formed Menengai Oilers RFC as head coach, a second rugby team in the town.
Their absence has since seen their (Nakuru RFC) performance dip.
However, Otieno is confident all is not lost since he still has 40 experienced players capable of carrying the mantle of restoring the team’s lost glory.
“We still have a formidable squad that can make a difference in our future matches. After all, we have also promoted three youngsters to fill the void left by our key players last season,” he added.
They include hooker Lucas Atito, prop John Mbugua and back row Nahashon Gichure and Steve Wamae who has joined the club from Egerton University RFC.
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