Determined Homeboyz out to defend Kabeberi 7s title

Kabeberi Sevens defending champions Menengai Cream Homeboyz are the top seeds at the 32nd edition of the Kabeberi 7s scheduled for this weekend at the Kinoru Stadium, Meru.

Homeboyz lost 21-12 to KCB at the first round of the National Circuit held at Kakamega last weekend and the ‘Deejayz’ are out to right  their wrongs in Meru where they are pooled alongside Masinde Muliro University, Mean Machine and Uganda’s Pirates in Group ‘B’.

The ‘Deejayz’ won the Kabeberi title last year after beating Top Fry Nakuru 19-5 in the finals played at the Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos.

In Kakamega, Homeboyz’s opponents Masinde Muliro finished seventh with Machine settling for 10th place and will be eyeing to wrestle the title from the champions.

At the same time, last year’s Kabeberi finalists Top Fry Nakuru will kick start their Circuit against varsity side Strathmore Leos, Kabras Sugar and newly promoted Northen suburbs who clinched the second division in Kakamega.

First leg champions KCB will be eyeing their second title in as many times in Meru where they are penciled to confront Impala Saracens, Menengai Oilers and hosts Meru RFC in Pool ‘A’.

The bankers are targeting their maiden Kabeberi title after finishing third last year, outshining Kenya Harlequins 22-5 in the losers final. Pool C has hosts Mwamba RFC, Nondescripts, Egerton Wasps (Njoro) and Kenya Harlequins.

Elsewhere, the newly elected Kenya Rugby Union chairman Gangla Oduor has vowed to take the game to the ‘next’ level by popularising it around the country while also applauding Kakamega county for successfully hosting the first leg of the circuit over the weekend.

Kakamega Sevens was the first leg of the circuit under Gangla since taking over the leadership mantle in March 20 this year.

“Our mission has been to move the game around the country and take it to as many centre as possible, so Kakamega has done well this year because you remember the Kenya Cup final was played there with Kisumu hosting the Elgon Cup.

Next year we already know the matches Kenya 15s will play, so we will be talking to other counties to also come on board and support.

“We may probably have Kenya play a game in Meru because Kinoru Stadium is very good and can accommodate  more than 20,000 fans, so we would really want to take this game to the people,” he said.

The former KRU secretary has attributed smooth transition of his leadership to team work and good relation with the clubs, adding that they have initiated coaching programs at the primary school level across the country.

“One of the programs we have done is coaching for children with a big focus  in schools which has been a major challenge and we also want to introduce rugby in primary schools and start playing rugby at age five.”

“We want to make rugby the national sport of Kenya and we’ve already started that by playing nice rugby; for instance ‘Chipu’, the national under 20 team was in the Junior World Junior Trophy Championship and did well, so we’ve to stay at that level and aim higher because you can only compete at the World Cup if you do well in local tournaments,” he concluded.

Gangla, who until rise to the top leadership of the rugby union served the  Secretary-General, is a deep insider within the confines of the game and this was aptly reflected in the polls where he garnered 33 votes, flooring his closest challenger  Alexander “Sasha” Mutai who managed 20 votes in the hotly contested March elections.

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