KCB chase more glory at Christie 7s, Leos out to make amends

Stephen Osumba

Strathmore Leos fly-half Stephen Osumba reacts after their defeat to KCB in the Kabeberi Sevens final at RFUEA grounds on May 22, 2022.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • KCB, who have retained to the squad that won Kabeberi Sevens last weekend, launch their defence against debutantes Pirates from Mombasa at 9.20am before meeting hosts and 10-time champions Kenya Harlequin at 12.10pm.
  • The Bankers will then wrap up their Pool “A” outing against 2000 champions Nakuru at 3. 40pm.

Favourites defending champions KCB Rugby and Strathmore University Leos have tightened their defences ahead of Christie Sevens that gets underway on Saturday at the RFUEA ground.

KCB, who have retained to the squad that won Kabeberi Sevens last weekend, launch their defence against debutantes Pirates from Mombasa at 9.20am before meeting hosts and 10-time champions Kenya Harlequin at 12.10pm.

The Bankers will then wrap up their Pool “A” outing against 2000 champions Nakuru at 3. 40pm.

“We might have won the Kabeberi Sevens last weekend but we must be mean in our defence and not let in easy tries,” said KCB coach Dennis “Ironman” Mwanja. “We have worked on that during the week in addition to improving our concentration.”

Mwanja said they will need to settle pretty fast in their matches. "There is no small team in sevens and we saw that at Kabeberi where Masinde Muliro and Daystar beat bigwigs," said Mwanja.

KCB edged out Strathmore Leos 12-10 to lift the Kabeberi Sevens title on Sunday at the RFUEA ground.

KCB and Nakuru met in the 2019 Christie Sevens final where the Bankers prevailed 12-7 in sudden death. 

“Nakuru is a lethal side especially if they get their combinations well and fast,” Mwanja noted.

Former Kenya Sevens skipper Jacob Ojee and Bob Muhati, who were named in the Kabeberi Sevens Dream Team, will once again be at the Banker’s centre of operation alongside levy Amunga and Geoffrey Okwatch and Michael Wanjala.

Kabeberi Sevens losing finalists Strathmore Leos, who have made three changes to their side, take on Daystar Falcons, Blak Blad and Impala in Pool “B.”

Leos coach Louis Kisia has brought in Walter Omanyo, Dan Kisakyamukama and Joseph Ayiro in place of Lucas Oppal, Stephen Osumba and Elton Amalemba respectively.  Oppal has job commitments while the rest are nursing injuries.

“Defence line integrity is what we have been working on in addition to speed, kickoffs and support play whenever we break off the line,” said Kisia.   

The Leos have four players who were named in the Kabeberi Sevens Dream Team; George Ooro, Branson Madigu, Stephen Osumba and Festus Shiasi.

Menengai Oilers headline Pool “C” as the third placed team at Kabeberi and face Masinde Muliro, 2016 and 217 champions Kabras Sugar and Nondescripts, who won the Christies last in 1977.

Homeboyz, the 2018 Christie Sevens winners, meanwhile, will play the 2014 Christie champions Mwamba, Western Bulls and Catholic Monks, who won the Division II at Kabeberi Sevens in Pool “D.”

The Christie Sevens that started in 1964 is named in honour of Alex ‘Sandy’ Milne Christie, the former president of Kenya Harlequin, veteran rugby player and referee. 

He also served as the president of the Rugby Football Union of East Africa (RFUEA) and vice-president of Wasps RFC in England.
 
Christie Sevens Pools:

Pool A: KCB, Nakuru, Kenya Harlequin, Pirates

Pool B: Strathmore Leos, Daystar Falcons, Blak Blad, Impala

Pool C: Menengai Oilers, Masinde Muliro, Kabras Sugar, Nondescripts

Pool D: Homeboyz, Mwamba, Western Bulls, Catholic Monks

Saturday’s order of play

9.00am Nakuru v Kenya Harlequin

9.20am KCB v Pirates

9.40am Daystar Falcons v Blak Blad

10.00am Strathmore Leos v Impala

10.20am Masinde Muliro v Kabras Sugar

10.40am Menengai Oilers v Nondescripts

11.00am Mwamba v Western Bulls

11.20am Homeboyz v Catholic Monks

 11.50am Nakuru v Pirates

12.10pm KCB v Kenya Harlequin

12.30pm Daystar Falcons v Impala

12.50pm Strathmore Leos v Blak Blad

1.10pm Masinde Muliro v Nondescripts

1.30pm Menengai Oilers v Kabras Sugar

1.50pm Mwamba v Catholic Monks

2.10pm Homeboyz v Western Bulls

 3.20pm Kenya Harlequin v Pirates

3.40pm KCB v Nakuru

4.00pm Blak Blad v Impala

420pm Strathmore Leos v Daystar Falcons

440pm Kabras Sugar v Nondescripts

500pm Menengai Oilers v Masinde Muliro

520pm Western Bulls v Catholic Monks

540pm Homeboyz v Mwamba

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