The 28th edition of the Great Rift Nakuru 10s rugby tournament took place on the weekend of April 19-21, at the Nakuru Athletics Club.
The Ladies and Age-grade rugby kicked off a great weekend on Friday, before the men’s action began on Saturday. Menengai Oilers lifted their maiden rugby trophy, after beating the Homeboyz RFC 10-5, in front of an enthusiastic crowd to wrap-up a wonderful weekend of footy.
“Winning the tournament is an amazing feeling, it’s a culmination of the hard work we have put in over the past three years and I believe we are now starting to reap the fruits. We had a tough day yesterday in the pool stage but we managed to secure the two wins and a draw.
“In the quarterfinals, we were trailing Strathmore 12-0 but the boys dug deep, showed resilience in that match, claiming the 17-12 win,” said a happy Oilers coach, Gibson Weru.
The Top Fry Great Rift Nakuru 10s would be testing, at every stage. In the Cup semi-final, after several attempts at breaking the KCB’s defence line, Oilers finally succeeded in the second half. They landed the solitary try in the match, booking their slot in the final.
“Our performance was superb, we stuck to the structures we had practiced and it worked in our favour. Winning the tournament has a great feeling to it and we look forward to many more wins in the future,” added a very jovial Captain, Harold Anduvate.
KCB finished third with a 17-5 win over Blakblad, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology claimed the 5th place after a 33-10 win over Strathmore Leos.
Top Fry Great Rift 10s Dream Team
Jude Baraka(Strathmore); Jacktone Mungayi (MMUST); Brian Songoi (Menengai Cream Homeboyz); Monate Akuei (Top Fry Nakuru); Harold Anduvate (Menengai Oilers); Patrick Mutuku (Resolution Impala Saracens); Geoffrey Ominde (Top Fry Nakuru); Anthony Kibet (Menengai Oilers); Arcadius Khwesa (Blakblad); and John Bahati (MMUST).
— Kenya Rugby (@OfficialKRU) April 20, 2019
Action Packed Pools at Great Rift Nakuru 10s
This year’s tournament attracted over 40 men’s teams but, due to the limited time allowed per match, only 36 sides participated. Division One had 16 teams: four pools of four teams each while Division Two had five pools with four teams each .
In Pool D, Menengai Oilers were ranked first, having registered two wins and a draw. While Mean Machine’s crucial 17-14 win over the hosts and their 12-5 win over Makueni, saw them finish second in the pool. The much-awaited match between Top Fry Nakuru and Menengai Oilers ended in a 5-5 draw.
The fixture had everyone on the edge of their seats. In the first half, the Oilers went over the whitewash and held a slender 5-0 lead. In the second half, the hosts leveled up the scores. Then, with three minutes left on the clock, an Oiler’s infringement in their own 22 saw the referee award a penalty to Nakuru. Deciding to go for the tryline, the hosts would, unfortunately, lose possession courtesy of the Oilers’ defensive skills. The match ending with the 5 all scoreline.
Due to the wins-and-losses record, Top Fry Nakuru RFC dropped to the Challenge Trophy series; with one win, one draw and one loss. They would ultimately claim that reward, to see hometown fans enjoy some success at the Nakuru 10s.
Resolution Impala Saracens and Menengai Cream Homeboyz RFC finished first and second in Pool A action. In Pool C, Kenyatta University’s Blakblad was unbeaten on day one, topping their Pool.
Division Two category as challenging as Top Tier
In Division Two Category, the defending champions Top Fry Nakuru II were on course to defend their title, after a successful day one. The only team in this Division that did not concede a try on Day One, having beaten their opponents Meru, KPA Eldoret, and Bomet University 19-0, 45-0 and 27-0 respectively.
Those good results meant they faced Northern Suburbs in the first Cup quarterfinal.
Nakuru 10s Division One Day Two Pairings
— Kenya Rugby (@OfficialKRU) April 20, 2019
Top Fry Nakuru II would retain their Great Rift Nakuru 10s Division Two title, after beating Stingers RFC 5-0.
Great Rift Nakuru 10s – Final Results:
Cup Final – Homeboyz 5 Menengai Oilers 10
Bronze Final – KCB 17 Blad 5
Plate Final – MMUST 33 Strathmore 10
Challenge Trophy Final – Nakuru RFC 22 Jkuat Rugby 0
13th Place Final – University of Eldoret 17 Egerton 10
Full Day One results are available here
The Great Rift Nakuru 10s continues the ongoing support of the game by the Kenyan Rugby Union. The women’s competition was won by the ladies of Mwamba, beating hosts the Nakuru Ladies on Friday.
It follows on from the Kenya Rugby Women’s League, which was won by the Stanchart Impala Saracens. They won the final round of the KRU women’s 10-a-side championship, over the Top Fry Nakuru Ladies.
“Main photo credit – SILA KIPLAGAT | NATION MEDIA GROUP”