The lakeside city of Kisumu lived up to its hot billing as it hosted this year’s 17th edition of Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) National Sevens Circuit (NSC) series with rugby lovers and players savouring different moments on-and-off the pitch.
The two-day rugby fest was full of pomp and glamour as the scorching sun undeterred the cheering fans, passionate and committed players to showcase their mettle.
With aplomb and gusto, the title chase got stiffer as most teams were stronger offensively and defensively. The much-anticipated hard tackles, precision runs and specific tries were the hallmarks of the two-day event. In Division 2, Vihiga Granite Rugby Club were crowned the champions having won 12-7 against Makueni and will now play in division 1 in the next NSC leg. Stormers brushed off opposition from KCA to win the Spear final.
It was a sweet victory for the Homeboyz who crushed Menengai Oilers 19-14 in the 2022 Kisumu Dala 7s cup finals. Their counterparts Menengai celebrated their first cup final appearance having walloped seasoned giant KCB Lions on its way to book a final spot against the Homeboyz. KCB ensured that they clinched the third place by mauling off opposition from Mwamba 10-7.
The winners received Sh100,000 from the gambling title sponsors Betsafe CEO Victor Sudi, while the runners-up, Menengai Oilers, and 3rd placed team KCB took home Sh50,000 and Sh 25,000 respectively. Oscar Ayodi, a former KRFU player and current Homeboyz coach, attributed their win to teamwork, discipline and zeal to win. In 2021 and 2022, the National Sevens Series was not held due to the outbreak of the global novel coronavirus pandemic.
The tourney produced several astonishing individual talents with George Mola, Kisumu Rugby FC bagging the Most Promising Player, the versatile and dependable player, Amon Wamalwa from Homeboyz managed 8 tries. The Most Valuable Player was awarded to Maranga Nyakundi of Homeboyz, as he helped to steer his team to a memorable winner’s cup glory.
The KRU vice chairman, thanked the various event organizers and sponsors for their support to the NSC series. The next series heads to Nakuru’s Pinsloo Sevens slated for July 9th and 10th and the season finale to be held in Kakamega County on the 16th and 17th July 2022.
The rugby-fest was graced by Kenya Rugby great legends Humphrey Khayange, Michael ‘Tank’ Otieno, Winnie Odinga (former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s daughter), KRU officials among other dignitaries.
As the thrills and frills curtains came down at the Jomo Kenyatta Stadium, the Dala 7s tourney which began in 2013 with Kisumu RFC playing host, left the rugby enthusiasts and revelers lasting for more.
By Rolex Omondi