National 7s title surely a Kabras, KCB only affair

Steve Arunga (left) of Menengai Oilers Rugby Football Club is tackled by Musa Mugandi of Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology during their Tisap Sevens Rugby Tournament match at Eldoret Sports Club in Uasin Gishu County on September 2, 2023. Menengai Oilers won 14-12.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Ayange poised to win circuit as coach this time
  • Final leg at RFUEA this weekend, third-placed Leos have outside chance of glory

Just who will blink first?

This year’s SportPesa National Sevens Circuit draws to a close with the final leg, the Kabeberi Sevens, this weekend at the RFUEA ground in Nairobi.

The focus is on circuit leaders Kabras Sugar and second-placed KCB, who are  separated at by just one point.

Kabras Sugar, the Driftwood and Christie Sevens champions, are eyeing their first national sevens crown in six years, and are on 92 points, while KCB, who won the Dala and Christie Sevens, are snapping at their heels.

Kabras can claim their first circuit title since 2017 if they finish the tournament ahead of KCB.

KCB, the three-time champions, who lifted the series title last in 2019, can reclaim the crown if they reach the cup semis and Kabras fall at the quarters.

Kabras Sugar and KCB could find themselves facing off in the Cup quarter-final at Kabeberi Sevens after.

Both sides had depleted sides at Tisap Sevens in Eldoret, and it showed as they failed to get beyond the Cup quarter-finals.

Kabras Sugar and KCB have provided five players each to Kenya Sevens that is preparing for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games Africa qualifiers.

Kabras will launch their quest in Pool “C” against Daystar University Falcons at 9.20am before meeting their Western Kenya neighbours Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (Mmust) at 12.40pm before finishing their day one assignments against Mwamba in the revenge duel at 4.50pm.

It’s Mwamba who stunned Kabras Sugar 19-5 in the Cup quarters at Tisap Sevens.
KCB, who are the Kabeberi Sevens defending champions, open their Pool “D” outing against Moi University at 10am. The bankers take on Catholic University of East Africa Monks at 1.20pm before closing the preliminary round against circuit defending champions Menengai Oilers at 5.10pm.

“Our eyes are focused on the trophy,” Kabras Sugar coach Felix Ayange simply said. Ayange was a player in the Kabras side that won the circuit last in 2017.

“Winning the series felt so good and I want the current players to experience it too,” he said.

Ayange has not changed his side that settled sixth at Tisap Sevens where they lost to KCB 21-14 in the decider match.

KCB head coach Andrew Amonde said they had drawn great lessons from the last two legs especially at Tisap Sevens.

“We must kill the bird early in the pool stage to stand a good chance,” said Amonde, who has made one change to the side from Tisap Sevens, replacing William Opaka with Emmanuel Opondo.

Strathmore Leos, who reached their second consecutive cup final in Tisap are placed third with 82 points.

They have an outside chance of recapturing the national title they won for the first and last time in 2009. They can only achieve that if they manage to reach the Cup final, and Kabras and KCB fail to make the Cup quarters.