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Homeboyz, Mwamba title race to come alive at Christies

By AYUMBA AYODI
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A new Stanbic Bank National Sevens Series champion will be crowned this weekend at the RFUEA Grounds.

But will it be the Series leaders Homeboyz, who have won three competitions this season or Mwamba, who are fresh from clinching Dala Sevens?

Homeboyz, winners of Prinsloo, Sepetuka and Kabeberi Sevens, sit at the top of the six leg Series with 100 points while Mwamba, with only one victory this season after the Dala success, are placed second with 92 points.

With only eight points separating the two locals giants, the battle for the Series title is definitely going down to the wire.

Mwamba’s 17-0 victory against Homeboyz in Kisumu last weekend, has definitely inspired them especially after having reached the final four times, losing to the Deejays two times.

Mwamba had lost 12-7 to Homeboyz at the Prinsloo and Sepetuka Sevens finals 19-12 and 25-0 respectively.

Kulabu went on to lose to Nakuru in sudden death at Driftwood Sevens final before finally tossing to victory in Kisumu.

They must now win Christie Sevens if they hope to reclaim the Series title they last won in 2011.  Their other previous victories were in 2007, 2008 and 2010.

That will only be possible if Homeboyz finishes outside the top four positions at Christies, which is unlikely based on how Homeboyz have been performing this season. But anything is possible in sevens rugby.

In case Homeboyz fail to reach the main Cup quarterfinals and win the Challenge Trophy, Mwamba will have to reach the Cup semi-finals to claim the Series title.

Mwamba, who are the top seeds, face Russian Sevens champions Narvskaya Zastava in Pool “A” that also has Christie Sevens defending champions Kabras Sugar and the University of Nairobi Mean Machine.

Homeboyz, who are chasing their second Series title after the 2016 exploits, take on Blue Bulls and TUKS from South Africa, Driftwood Sevens champions Nakuru and Gibson Weru’s Menengai Oilers in Pool “B”.

Homeboyz coach Paul “Pau” Murunga admitted that they faltered at Driftwood and Dala Sevens but their target is to win Christies.

The Series leaders, who open their Christies quest against the Russians, will be without injured Mark Wandetto and Augustine Lugonzo who have been replaced by Jeff Oluoch and Collins Shikoli respectively.

“We don’t know the Russian side’s strength but that won’t distract us from our ultimate target of winning the Christies. We are yet to lose to Nakuru or Oilers and that will not change this weekend,” said Murunga.

Mwamba head coach Kevin “Bling” Wambua has replaced injured Billy Odhiambo with Michael Agevi beside bringing in Brian Kivasia for Felix Otieno as part of his rebuilding.

“We are focused on doing the job hence no pressure at all. We want to get out of the pool top and focus on day two,” said Wambua.

Pool A: Mwamba, Kabras Sugar, Machine, Narvskaya Zastava

Pool B: Homeboyz, Nakuru, Menengai Oilers, Blue Bulls &TUKS Combined

Pool C: Impala, Quins, Northen Suburbs, Uganda Emerging Sevens

Pool D: KCB, Nondies, Kisii, Strathmore Leos

Kabras Sugar v Mean Machine (9:30am); Mwamba v Narvskaya Zastava (9:50); Nakuru v Menengai Oilers(10:10); Homeboyz v Blue Bulls &TUKS Combined (10:30); Harlequins v Northen Suburbs (10:50); Impala v Uganda Emerging Sevens (11:10); Nondescripts v Kisii (11:30); KCB v Strathmore Leos (11:50); Kabras Sugar v Narvskaya Zastava (12:20pm); Mwamba v Mean Machine (12:40); Nakuru v Blue Bulls &TUKS Combined (1:00); Homeboyz v Menengai Oilers (1:20); Harlequins v Uganda Emerging Sevens (1:40); Impala v Northen Suburbs (2:00); Nondescripts v Strathmore Leos (2:20); KCB v Kisii (2:40); Machine v Narvskaya Zastava (3:10); Mwamba v Kabras Sugar (3:30); Menengai Oilers v Blue Bulls &TUKS Combined (3:50); Homeboyz v Nakuru (4:10); Northen Suburbs v Uganda Emerging Sevens (4:30); Impala v Harlequins (4:50); Kisii v Strathmore Leos (5:10); KCB v Nondescripts (5:30)



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