Friday, July 31, 2009
Quins host Nondies at the KRFUEA grounds. Impala play host to Strathmore at Impala, though given the home games the latter have played there, it is kind of like home to them as well. Machine will host KCB at the University grounds and Mwamba host Nakuru at the Railway club. The pick of the day is the Mwamba vs. Nakuru game. Mwamba are on a winning streak and Nakuru top the table. It is really topsy turvy time for a loss to either of the two will put a dent in their title hopes. My call, Mwamba by five. A loss for any of other top sides will also put paid to their title hopes. Quins struggled against Nondies in the first round and I don't expect it to be easier for them. Though on the back of a two match losing streak, they are twice bitten, so my have a lot of fury in them. Whether they are able to find it in them to defend will be the difference in the game. Due to that factor, I'll call a high scoring game, but Quins to win by a score. Impala will also fight against an organised Strathmore, but they are also highly structured and organised and know exactly how they want to score. I will give them a bonus point victory. KCB will also score a bonus point victory over Machine.
Do have a great sporting weekend. Scores here after the match, technology allowing (yet to see the effects of that cable thing).
Current league standings below, courtesy of www.kenyarfu.com.
Last week was one of the rare weekends that I actually missed a Machine game. Being taken to Coasto by my mama was a special treat that even a machine die-hard like me could not say no. The Thursday Lifestyle ritual can make a guy weak at times. Now at some stage when the season (hopefully) will be over I will have to repay her with a similar or better treat. (I'd better start saving by asking the folks for money well in advance).
In my absence Mwamba crushed us but though we fell I'm informed we still left with our heads high. This weekend is another tall order as Mean Machine meet a highly wounded KCB at the campo ground. An exciting battle awaits us for KCB are surely licking their wounds after being hit hard in their last weeks loss to Nakuru who nickname themselves 'Wanyore' (Don't ask me why. I'm just an aspiring engineer).
All the best comrades and I do believe that as it is sung in our anthem that the spirit and fight (of course led by Kopo) will be there. Interstingly I bumped into Nabongo after a very long time. Nabongo as you may recall was part of my early retirement from the game of rugby. The guy has recently been dibbling and dabbling in campo SONU politics but it seems the till has now run dry and so he is back to the rugby game and team he loves (so he says).
Just when we seem short of inspiriation, a Machine Old Boy by the name of Frank Aswani shares with us the follwing from way back. This Mean Machine team is one that really truly inspires. Enjoy the piece below.
Machine guys and the girls have always been a very touchy issue. We only talked about them, and that’s where it ended. Apart of course from a few “clandos” that some guys shared. We were always “the rough guys”. Ask Boni, Evan, Shebesh, Yakas, Sabwa, Bundux or even Bwaab, Rombo and Chiro. Most of these guys especially Joe, Bonnie, Olimba and Wawira have improved since college days.
Since we didn’t have girls, what else did we do? Probably ate and anarchized. Let’s start with the food (’mfede’ as Bonnie would say). I think Sabwa and Vitisia must surely still hold the campus record for the most ‘dialogues’ consumed at a sitting – 10. However, there is this second batch of guys who came second in a close finish. They included Akush, Evani, Yakas and Nigger. The C.C.U., K1 and Box kitchen staff will never forget us.
Anarchy off the pitch was a way of life, ask John Less and Splasa about “Swathe”, GVC and Afro. However, I think Mombasa was the mother of all places! ‘Buster Douglas’ Mtambi, left his mark; and the hawkers there will never forget Marto, Bonnie, Waziri and Raki. In the meantime, Johnnie was trying to fall in love. When on the pitch if things got really bad, we always had Onyango and Sigi to protect us.
During training and games we were very serious. Bimbo molded a great team. He was probably the best local coach. Horace, Sigi and Yakas would be sweating profusely in their unwashed kit. Obuya would make guys run. OC would as usual be breathing like he is in labor and Big G would deliver his theory. Kingori and Waziri would as usual have something to tell “the Necki”. There were jokers and serious guys amongst the players. In the latter group, came guys like: Daktari, Zinzan, Olimba, Shaka, John More and Musalia. At least they kept the rest sane. God bless Ken Kanyi, we will never forget him. Then came guys like Jackie, Joe, D.K., Breather, Musunga and Chepe who were chameleons.
Let’s briefly look at the fans (and some players). Most prominent were Johnny and Steel Pulse, an unbeatable pair. There were the Lingala enthusiasts like Bamosusu and Evan. However, despite using the players names like “Rombo is my roommate” and “OC comes to my room everyday” they still never got girls. Ask heckler Hayazokeki, Papo, Kisila, Bundux or Lui. Oh I had forgotten Wede and Bob. Yet unlike today, they had boom. However, do not worry they have really turned over a new leaf. ‘Toivo’ featured prominently as well, very cost effective, ask Steel Pulse and John Less.
When all was said and done, we had a lot of fun playing, because our faith was built on nothing else and any other day all other teams were sinking sides. (Aberdeen University would bear me witness). However Machine has always been the second reason that took us to campus. To the current and future players, keep the speed and spirit of Machine going.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
THE ENTERPRISE CUP
1930 – 2005
SEVENTY-FIVE YEARS OF SPORTING ACHIEVEMENT
This history of the Enterprise Cup owes much to the many people who have provided information, photographic materials, press cuttings and pointed remarks about rivals on the field of play. Particular thanks are die to Bill Armstrong, Tony Cole, John Lloyd, Dave Nichol, Taffy Owen, Malcolm Parler, Patrick Plumbe, Pete Rodwell, Angus Scott and Mike Walsh who entrusted their memories and their treasures to the uncertain hands of the editor, an unreliable old sod at the best of times. John Harris again demonstrated why he is Welsh Artist of the year 2005; his perceptive cartoons providing some much needed light relief.
The excellent history of Rugby Football in East Africa 1909 – 1959 by M. Campbell and E. J Cohen has provided essential background and the story of the First Commission of HMS Enterprise revealed that life in the Royal Navy of 1928 was not all King’s Regulations and Admiralty Instructions. The diary of Prince Edward’s visit to East Africa offers a highly sanitised version of its activities but one assumes that any reference to HMS Enterprise would not have attracted the censor’s pencil and is therefore accurate.
HMS Enterprise is not merely an important part of the East African history. The name has been inherited by one of the most technologically advanced hydrographical survey vessels in service with the Royal Navy and we thank her Captain, Commander Vaughan Nail, for materials and advice during the preparation of this booklet.
Our most sincere thanks are reserved for Gordon Weston, Managing Director of Spicers (Eastern Africa) Ltd, whose kindness and support enabled the publication of this regrettably superficial history to mark the anniversary of the Enterprise Cup.
Seventy – five years ago, on a muddy field in Nairobi, a referee blew his whistle and called ‘no-side’. The captain of the victorious Nairobi District XV stepped forward, wiped the sweat from his brow, and accepted from some unnamed dignitary a fine silver trophy. The first Inter-District Championship in East Africa had been won.
Not that the rugby played before 1930 was non-competitive. In terms of the capacity to inflict dental or nasal damage on opponents, the many South African and New Zealand farmers in the region were very capable competitors. Furthermore, the several clubs within Nairobi District were already competing against one another in a District Championship for the NDC Flag. But that match seventy-five years ago decided the first destination of a trophy that was to become widely known as the Enterprise Cup.
“Parturition is such sweet sorrow” as Shakespeare almost said, and the birth of the new competition was anything but easy. Like most births it required a father, a mother and a mad dash to the hospital. In this case, the urgent father was the Royal Navy, the reluctant mother was the Rugby Football Union of Kenya and the members of the British Royal Family undertook the dramatic medical journey. Although the infant’s childhood was marked by many fractious outbursts and much petulant behaviour, here it stands at 75 years of age, mature, confident and credit to its parents. But how was the child conceived? There is coincidence, romance and adventure in the story.
This Review commemorates the birth of the Inter-District Championship and celebrated the Enterprise Cup, an enduring legacy of the rugby touring party from HMS Enterprise who undertook the first ever (and possibly the most exhausting) rugby tour of East Africa.
THE ROYAL NAVY IN THE EAST AFRICA REGION
Britain showed little interest in the coasts of eastern Africa until the Napoleonic wars and the Royal Navy ships first visited Zanzibar in 1799. At that time the anti-slavery movement became a convenient hook on which to hang political and commercial objectives and, in 1822, the commander of RN ships at Mauritius negotiated a treaty banning the export of the slaves from the Sultan of Oman’s territories. These included the coasts and islands of modern Tanzania and Kenya for which there were no accurate charts so Captain W. F. W Owen, a proficient hydrographer, was ordered to chart the coastal waters and rivers of eastern Africa. His survey vessels reached Mombasa in 1824 to find its Arab rulers, the Mazrui family in rebellion against the Sultan of Oman. The rebels sought Owen’s assistance whereupon he proclaimed the coastal region a British Protectorate and appointed one of his officers, Lieutenant John Reitz, the inner reaches of Mombasa harbour, set up his headquarters near Fort Jesus and his party of five RN personnel were the first British citizens to become residents of Kenya. Theirs were also the first short-term contracts because the Honourable East India Company soon complained that Owen’s action had greatly undermined its influence with the Sultan of Oman and was harming the spice trade. After much undiplomatic correspondence between the Foreign Office, the Governor of Bombay and the Admiralty, Own was ordered to withdraw. He did so in 1826 and the short-lived Mombasa Protectorate faded into the history books.
Owen’s charts proved invaluable when, in the second half of the 19th Century, the British government increased its efforts to interdict the slave trade and promote the exploration of Africa. Both activities depended greatly on the RN ships that patrolled the creeks and reefs of the coast and the RN personnel that manned the steam gunboats on the rivers and lakes of eastern and central Africa. By 1900, the slave trade was almost completely eradicated from the economy of East Africa.
Naval life on the coast was not devoted entirely to the pursuit of slave dhows and in 1847 Mombasa was again the focus of Royal Navy intervention when the Sultan of Zanzibar sought assistance to recover the island from forces rebelling against his rule. HMS Rifleman and HMS Nassau shelled Fort Jesus before landing armed sailors who drove out the insurgents. Interest in eastern Africa was spreading and in the following year HMS Thetis patrolled the coast between Lamu and Kismayu, observing with some amusement the actions of an Egyptian fleet that tried to take possession of the Somali coast. As the century drew to a close, the Royal Navy quelled minor uprisings with landings at Malindi, Kilifi, Mombasa and Shimoni – and surely it is no coincidence that these spots have since become well respected for the experienced tippler and hedonist.
For the next seventy years the Royal Navy maintained a strong presence in the Indian Ocean. Although the activities of HM ships during the two World Wars lie beyond the scope of this Review, the years between the wars have considerable significance for our story. From 1919 onwards the 4th Cruiser Squadron occupied the East Indies station, patrolling the oceans between Africa and Hong Kong. Its home base was Ceylon and its light cruisers undertook two-year Commissions during which they exercised, manoeuvred, and frequently toured the region to show the flag. Throughout this period the Kenyan economy was expanding and Mombasa soon overtook Zanzibar as the most important port in East Africa. It was a popular destination for ships in the Royal Navy.
But that is not my topic for today. I am still trying to obtain more information on that and will do a substantive post once I have it. Mine today is an honour roll. Not common coming from me, but sometimes deserved. Regular readers of this blog will know that I am an advocate for a strong club structure. That the union abhors strong clubs is not in doubt and hence their frequent "downsizing" of clubs they feel are "growing horns" (to use a term from my high school days. That someone is assertive and regularly causes you to question yourself does not mean he is an upstart and needs to be shut up does not make any management sense to me. And for a tight knit community, where if I catch a cold we all shiver, what sense does it make to try to cut me off? But I digress as usual.
At the halfway stage, I was taking a casual glance at the Kenya Cup, the teams, the union, and what each has done towards making the league a success. Barbs first. I do not expect that the union spends much to run the league. Save for drawing up fixtures the KRFU secretariat is permanent and salaried hence that can not be considered an extra cost. But they do buy trophies for the winners and the runners up, I leave you to value that yourselves. Oh, and maybe they pay the match officials some allowance to enable them to attend matches (note I did not use the word officiate as I have my issues with that). Save that, does ownership of the competition warrant or bestow upon the rights that they can sell? Have they developed the tournament to such an extent that it is worth something to someone? That the competition is run with opaque rules that are enforced when it pleases only some quarters is plain to see. There are no rules on player eligibility, player transfers, promotion, relegation, obligations of host teams, visiting teams and so much more means there is no difference in the Kenya Cup today as there was twenty years ago. In fact, there were actually much larger crowds at games then! But again, I digress.
The modern rugby club has several demands. The most important is that they must honour their fixtures. Notwithstanding that fixtures seem to change every week, with no defined international season, and games sometimes being postponed for international fixtures, and other times not..(sorry, I start again). The clubs have an obligation to prepare the players for the fixtures. Train them well and transport them to match venues when they are the visiting team. They also have obligations to prepare their grounds (even if it is only marking the pitch) and host the visiting club (in an African manner). In case of injury, the clubs must either insure their players, or foot the hospital bill when the inevitable happens. And what do the clubs have to support them in all this? Is there a participation fee they earn from the competition owners? Does sponsorship for the tournament trickle down to adequately cover their costs? Is all this thought about when seeking sponsorships? With fast dwindling crowds, even the gate charges are inadequate to cover club costs (clubs have now resorted to charging vehicles to watch games!!). All this leads back to the need for a league management committee, composed of all representative clubs, that will know the actual cost and impact of running the league and work towards a sustainable way of running the league. The Friday evening matches were a good idea, though only clubs with floodlights will benefit (with the added advantage of having trained under the same lights, irrespective of quality). This then brings in the extra angle that maybe all clubs should have floodlights, and adds to the league cost again. But let no one bring that "single venue" idea of some years back. That will only serve to further reduce the crowds, as well as bring about sponsor clutter. And that is actually where I was going today.
To the companies that have seen fit to sponsor the lowliest, least publicised competition in Kenyan Rugby, the Kenya Cup, kudos to you. I will here mention H20, sponsors of Mwamba, KEBS, sponsors of Impala, Nivea, sponsors of Harlequins and DHL/FH-Biz, sponsors of Nondies. To the universities and institutions like Strathmore, KCB and Mean Machine, kudos to you too. And I will not forget the effort Nakuru is putting in on its own, as a self supporting club, and an upcountry club as well, the effort is well noted. The clubs have found ways to give value to their sponsors, let no one diminish this value. And if the trend continues, I'm sure in a few years time, all teams will have a jersey sponsor and more.
Do have a good rugby week.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Without confirmations on league standings, Nakuru and KCB swap places to end up first and second respectively. Impala jumps to third while Quins drops to fifth place, Mwamba jumping over them to fourth. Nondies remain at sixth while Strathmore step slightly over Machine to seventh, leaving their campus colleagues now holding the tail.
The scramble for the top order is interesting and it appears that there may be a different champion for the first time in over twelve years. Interesting times ahead!
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
The game at Uhuru Park/Railway Club is destined to be close as Mwamba will be without their potent finisher Collins Injera as he is away with part of the Kenya sevens team taking part in a sevens tournament in Cananda. Unfortunately for us Coach Ayimba is in Canada too but the strategies have already been laid by him. Kopo will be in charge and the team will be ready for Mwamba.
It seems travelling is the activity of the weekend as my Mama and I will be in Coasto Mombasa this weekend courtesy of some prize she won at Nakumatt Lifestyle. The Thursday ritual is surely paying off and very early in the day it seems as we go with Fly450 or something like that. Good luck to the lads and comrades we shall be with you in spirit till we return on Tuesday. If I can convince her we may just watch the Mombasa vs KCB2 game at the Driftwoods Club in Mombasa. That though is a long shot.
My calls, Nakuru over KCB by a score, Impala over Quins by eight points. Mwamba with a bonus point victory over Machine and Nondies with the same over Strathmore.
Do have a fantastic rugby weekend. Scores here after the game. For lack of update on the main page, check the Twitter Feed on the left column.
Kenya Cup Table below, courtesy www.kenyarfu.com
Monday, July 20, 2009
Before I see the confirmations on scores and bonus points, it looks like KCB remain on top of the table, Nakuru leapfrog two teams to second position. Quins drop to third with Impala possibly dropping to fourth as they have joint points with Mwamba, now in fifth. The bottom three remain Nondies, Machine and Strathmore in that order.
Do have a good week and enjoy your rugby.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Interesting that it is a battle of 1st vs. 2nd, 3rd vs. 4th, 5th vs. 6th and 7th vs. 8th. Except for the Mwamba vs. Nondies match, the lower ranked team will swap places with their opponents for the weekend, should they win. And a win for either Quins, Impala or Nakuru could see them vault to the top of the standings, depending on other results. This weekend also sees the second floodlit Kenya Cup match pitting Mwamba vs. Nondies at Jamhuri Park. If I had issues with the Impala lights I will not even mention the Jamhuri Park ones (the Impala ones were actually fairly decent contrary to my expectations).
My calls, tough as they are.. KCB over Quins by a score, Nakuru over Impala, by a score. Nondies over Mwamba, by a score and eh eh (B2B...) Strathmore over Machine by 8 points.
Do have a good weekend and enjoy your rugby.
League standings as below, courtesy of www.kenyarfu.com.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Lifestyle which is more becoming a Thursday night ritual. Today was
even more spiced as we watched a movie 'State of Play' which was my
treat as she recovered from MJ's death. How this is our problem I have
no clue. The guy in my opinion was one wierdo who could sing a several
Mean Machine our rugby pride of campo have an intercampo battle with
Strathmore Leos at Nairobi School on Saturday. Coach Ayimba has made
it clear that its victory at all costs. I'm even tempted to ask Kopo
for a pair of boots now that he has another new pair from Morocco.
Ayimba must have an axe to grind with his former employers Strath. My
mama and I are praying hard for this victory as it is the 'Battle of
Supremacy' between the two campos. Machine have history while Strath
are only now writing their story.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Rugby is alive and kicking in Kenya. There is no doubt that this is
the sport of the moment. A huge chunk of the credit goes to Kenya 7's
team. Collins Injera, Humphrey Kayange and the rest of the team are
global superstars. They have captured the imagination of the Kenyan
public as well as the World at large. Even the goverment has taken
notice with President Kibaki, PM Raila and Minister Sambili wanting to
be part of the fan entourage. The 7's team is our sporting gold and
there is no doubt they will run away with the trophy for 'Sports Team
of the year 2009'.
The rugby bouquet locally has been filled by the Bamburi Super 4
Series, JWRT and Impala Floodlit which were all held successfully and
judging by the crowd attendances hunger for rugby action was plenty.
The Safari Sevens being the icing of the cake left no doubt that the
apex had been reached.
Even the sponsorshipless but prestigious Kenya Cup and Eric Shirley
have taken off with plenty of enthusiasm and vibrancy. The Kenya Cup
looks like it will be down to the final game for us to know who the
2009 Kenya Champions will be. The Western Kenya side in the Eric
Shirley is causing ripples as they keep felling teams in their
backyard. The KRFU funded team are playing all their preliminary games
at home and giving the West Kenya a heavy dose of rugby as the game
seeks to take advantage of its strong school base making it more
Yet to come is the traditional battle between Kenya and Uganda known
as the Elgon Cup. The two games draw plenty of passion from both sides
of the border and this year there are more cross border issues at
The Africa under 19 championship will be held in August 2009 thus
bringing more international rugby right to our doorsteps. This is
indeed positive for Kenya Rugby. The KRFU would be well advised to
come up with a periodical newsletter.
The reintroduction of Kisumu Dala Sevens is the best news for our
people in Nyanza. The game in Kisumu was on the verge of going
extinct. Dala Sevens has put Kisumu back on the rugby map.
With the KRFU's focus more on international type events the local
rugby suffers more neglect. The Kenya Cup and Eric Shirley are for the
umpteenth year without a sponsor. There is no support given to clubs
as they participate in this annual ritual religously and continue
churning out talent which are ungratefully snapped up by the national
teams without appreciating the efforts clubs have taken to nurture and
develop the players.
The management of this years season fixtures has left a lot to be
desired. The local calendar has been forced to fit in KRFU's
international events. Given a choice they would rather have postponed
this years local season to next year as they are too busy with
The Kenya 15's are a sorry side and truth be told they are going
nowhere really. Whereas their 7's brethren are rubbing shoulders and
beating the worlds best occasionally, the same cannot be said of the
15's. Left to play with also rans in Morocco the inadequately prepared
team came second in Morocco having just beaten Senegal. The big trophy
they returned with really did not bring in any prestige as the
competition was a really low level competition. We should attempt to
play the Portugals, Spains, Namibias, Brazils, Japans, Germanys and
Belgiums in order to improve our rankings and really improve.
Listening to the technical team's excuses for defeat one really feels
sorry for them as they searched for words. Playing Uganda for
consolation is a pity as the Elgon Cup is in danger of becoming
meaningless. Let's now focus on the 15's. As can be seen some players
and clubs have no respect for the national 15's team.
The KRFU really needs to support the referees. These selfless men and
sometimes women are regularly orphaned as they execute their duties.
The Eric Shirley games are testimony to this.
Ladies rugby in Kenya is really not worth talking about in Kenya. We
cannot compete with our neighbours next door as they have much more
concrete structures. Uganda took part in the 7's World Cup for women.
They are are definitely miles ahead of us. Rwanda will catch up and
pass us too if we are not careful.
The selection for the Kenya under 19 needs to be more broad based this
time round. The coach needs to be in touch with fellow club coaches
and seek out the talent there. He already has set up the foundation
and all he needs is to solidify the base. We can definitely win this
one if we get the mechanics right.
The KRFU may blow their trumpets and thump their chests that they are
best run or running sports federation in Kenya. They even take it to
the point that they can even dare other federations to emulate them.
That is all a fallacy and misrepresentation of facts. The KRFU have
failed the transparency and accountability test. They have failed to
produce proper accounts over the last 3 years and cannot produce
reconciliation reports of various competitions they have held.
Ordinarily under the Societies Act the current officials should be
disqualified from holding office. As has been asked previously here
before who are Safari Sevens Ltd, Friends of Rugby Ltd and Kenya Rugby
Ltd. Why are the accounts/finances of these mysterious entities kept
away from public scrutiny yet the KRFU in all its formation, irregular
constitution and entirety are a public body with stakeholders. Time
for an independent audit and investigation is long overdue.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Over the weekend the National XV team also did battle in Morocco, attempting to win the Northern Zone CAR Championship and with it move to their best ever world ranking. It was not to be and it seems we really struggled. I had some hope we could achieve this as last time Morocco were in Kenya, we gave them a good hiding. Having looked casually at the squad and replacements, it had appeared to me that we were a bit "small" and without a very strong bench. The playing of a rookie centre in such a crucial game was also a strange decision. However, my parting shot is that if we don't have the big people, let's learn to play like small people! Take a leaf from Chipu and their performance in the JWRT.. they totally neutralised the size aspect.. but then again, we did not have all our 7's stars (tongue firmly in cheek)! All in all, that's our last chance at improving our rankings this year (see my Weekly Ramble of Saturday) and it is us now to put our ranking on the line against lower ranked Uganda (OPP take note!) in the upcoming Elgon Cup.
Do have a good week and keep enjoying your rugby.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
It seems that all public office is political. Whether actual political or government office, or even sporting bodies. All over institutions worldwide are run by those who play politics well, and not really by those who mean well for everyone else. Rugby is no different and let no one kid you that someone is looking out for your interest. It is simply a matter of who's ass you kiss in order to further your own selfish ambition.
I am not hitting out directly at the Kenya Rugby Football Union, but rugby administration in general. Today I will take my beef to the top and hit out at the International Rugby Board (IRB), and its lackey, the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR). That they are disjointed in incoherent in their approach to rugby is not in doubt and that they will not do anything to raise the standard of rugby in Africa and Kenya by extension is not in doubt either!
There are currently approximately four tournaments going on in Africa at the moment. There is the Rugby World Cup Qualifiers, the CAR Northern Zone Qualifier/Championship, the CAR Southern Zone Qualifier/Championship and a 3rd Tier Development Sides Competition going on in Togo. With CAR as the representative of the IRB in Africa (I presume), it is their responsibility to organise matches/tournaments in Africa that will lead to the development of the game on the continent. I feel they are clueless about what they are doing. If one were to ask what the level of rugby is on this continent, they would be clueless. What has occurred in the last five years or so is a continual regression of all the African sides in the IRB World Rankings to collectively lie somewhere in the middle of the table. The fact that African teams only play each other means their only means of climbing up the rankings is by beating each other. And with the system set up as an exchange of points between the winner and the loser, the fact that they are all now collectively bunched in the middle of the table means there is not much hope of climbing out of that rut! And does CAR have a way out for them? Does it mean for instance that Kenya would lose miserably to Kazakhstan? To me I see a hopelessness that is difficult to find a way out of.
The CAR website was last updated in June of 2008. It has no information even on who the office bearers are. It has no information on the competitions taking place or where they are being held. The local unions (read KRFU) are also scant with information. Until people started asking questions, word was that the National XV team was going for the CAR Championship and were already in the semi finals (who remembers when the preliminaries were held?). Accepted, Africa is a vast continent and air travel is not cheap or even sometimes convenient within the continent, and hence my query, who is finding a way out for us? Worldwide, there is a travel high season and a travel low season. Is anyone exploring the possibility of utilising the idle capacity of the continent's air carriers during these periods and only organising competitions then? Is anyone partnering, at the highest levels with organisations that can help ease this burden? The Telcos are minting huge profits on the continent without anyone putting enough pressure on them to give back. And so are mining and energy companies, exporting most of their proceeds without ploughing anything back? If Africa is the bedrock of mineral and energy exploitation that the East and the West are scrambling over, what do we get in exchange, save for fat politicians?
I ramble too much at times. The IRB is spending millions of dollars in the Pacific Rim Competition directly. What is their direct involvement in Africa? Recent statements suggest they are more focused in getting the Togos and Tanzanias to soon be able to beat Kenya and Morocco, but who is looking to get Kenya and Morocco to soon be beating Namibia and maybe even South Africa? With fixtures for African teams so few and far apart, is it a wonder that Namibia often fail to raise a full strength team, most of their players preferring to continue with their professional engagements in South Africa and Europe? And the per chance a team from Africa qualifies for the Rugby World Cup and we expect them to compete with the rest? Africans are the most gifted, skilled and naturally talented athletes in the world. Why must we export even that to other countries in order to be appreciated? And once exported, there is no hope of return! How then shall we improve Rugby in Africa, and by extension, Rugby in Kenya?
15 Vincent Mose
14 Leon Adongo
13 Kelvin Omiyo
12 Innocent Simiyu (captain)
11 Naftaly Bondo
10 Nato Simiyu
9 Gibson Weru
8 Gray Cullen
7 Paul Oimbo
6 Benedict Nyambu
5 Mike Aung
4 Wilson Kopondo
3 Daniel Kiptoo
2 Vincent Ong'era
1 Joel Ng'ang'a.
Replacements: 16 Edwin Alubaka, 17 Dennis Abenga, 18 Anthony Ogot, 19 Victor Oduor, 20 Charles Kanyi, 21 Patrice Agunda, 22 Lawrence Buyachi.
We wish them well in this assignment.
Below from http://www.irb.com/rankings/news/newsid=2032662.html
Morocco put ranking on line
Elsewhere, this weekend sees the conclusion of the four-team CAR (Confederation of African Rugby) Trophy with hosts Morocco set to face Kenya in the final in Safi on Saturday following Cameroon’s encounter with Senegal.
Morocco are the higher ranked of the quartet at 33rd, six places above Kenya with Senegal next best in 67th with Cameroon 78th. Morocco’s 12-0 victory over Cameroon on Wednesday had no impact on the IRB World Rankings, while Kenya improved their rating points by less than a tenth with their 22-7 defeat of Senegal.
The two matches on Saturday, though, will impact the rankings. Morocco will not improve their position even with a victory by more than 15 points against Kenya, although they will edge closer to Belgium above them.
Kenya will fall one place, swapping places with another African side in Ivory Coast, with any margin of defeat. However a Kenyan victory will see them take over Morocco’s position of 33rd and condemn their hosts to a fall of between five and seven places, depending on the winning margin.
Friday, July 10, 2009
answers to things like why Mean Machine are yet to win a game in this
years Kenya Cup.
We have come back from a class trip that took us to
hydroelectricity-generating plants. Just like Machine the country
faces a severe energy crisis. In our group conclusion all those who
have cut, traded and currently live in forests should be immediately
sent to The Hague. Maybe the KRFU too should be sent there for certain
'crimes' against Kenya Rugby. (Hahahahahaha)
This weekend Mean Machine play Nondies. Coach Ayimba will have been
impressed by lads second half performance against Quins. Kevin Gachoka
came more into the game in the second period. The 'veteran' Mukabane
played his heart out. Should Brian Simiyu and Felix Wanjala return
from injury then Machine will be formidable.
Nondies are wounded and sometimes expect too much charity from
Machine. No way this time round and with the game being a Machine home
game the Bobobo spirit should prevail and the points bagged. My mama
and I are sure all those ex-Machine comrades playing for Nondies
wouldn't mind. This is a game dubbed LIFE and DEATH BATTLE.
See you there and a piece of advice is to keep warm. For that my mama
has decided we keep of Mwendas for a while till the weather or climate
Good luck Machine and Good luck Kenya.
The National XV team is also in Safi, Morocco for what a commentator on this blog has called the Plate Competition of the Africa Championship and I think that aptly describes it. Other than discipline problems, they seem to be playing well and we wish them well against Morocco.
As usual all match scores here after the game (though mail2post let me down on Wednesday).
Current league standings below. You can click for an enlarged view.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
UPDATE: In the other match, Morocco overcame a stiff challenge from a much improved Cameroun side to win 12 nil. Kenya meet Morocco
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
to becoming 'Champions of Africa'. Good luck to them as we surely need
a boost for the real rugby game as they play catch up to the 7's.
Kenya play Senegal who though are unknown should be good fodder for
the team. In the other semi hosts Morocco play Cameroon in what should
be a close encounter with Morocco having the edge. Thereafter we can
anticipate a bruising final between Kenya and Morocco where the result
could go either way. The winner then meets the winner of the southern
tournament which consists of Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and
Madagascar. Zimbabwe should easily run with this one though don't
rule out a shock from Madagascar.
It is worth noting that Uganda, Tunisia, Ivory Coast and Namibia are
not involved due to their continued participation in the 2011 Rugby
World Cup qualifiers. South Africa for obvious reasons do not take
Are Kenya well prepared? Your guess is as good as mine. It should be
noted that some players including the national team captain. Simiyu
defied national team rules and with impunity turned out for his club
Impala on the eve of the teams departure to Morocco.. That should have
seen him immediately stripped of the captaincy. Team management are
definitely not in control here. The 'IRB' Impala Rugby Business a.k.a
KRFU Kenya Rugby Football Union would never take action against their
own 'son' or team Impala.
Senegal spent a week acclimatising in France by the Mediteranean
shores. Morocco and Cameroon have have meanwhile been bolstered by
their foreign legion that play pro rugby in France. Kenya meanwhile
went to Samburu for a weekend courtesy Sarova (good marketing stunt
for the hotel chain) and continued the same old routine of playing
'tough matches' against KCB, Quins and Impala. One woders why Telkom
Orange as the 15's team sponsor could not have facilitated through the
parent office in France a week of high intensive training in France.
Are Orange simply using the 15's as a springboard to getting to the
Kenya 7's side? Who's fooling who here? Seems Virgin Atlantic are
slowly being edged out by some external forces. Virgin stood with us
when nobody belived that one day we will be Worldbeaters in 7's.
Hopefully Kenya 15's will overcome all the odds and hurdles ahead plus
the weather and win in Casablanca, Morocco.
The inclusion of Asiko Owiro as head of delegation is a sure recipe
for disaster as stated by one reader on the blog. Why is the former
disastrous KRFU treasurer being rewarded with a trip? Are memories of
93 being forgotten where he threw out current national team coach Tank
Otieno out of the team hotel on the eve of the then RWC qualifiers?
Another avid reader states that even the current
ineffective/inefficient General Manager Auko Gecheo would have been a
far more appealing choice.
Anyway let's enjoy the rugby and talk afterwards.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Nakuru also survived a nasty scare, and from 22-6 at half time, Strathmore came to within 6 points before they also died off. I think the second half of the league is going to be very interesting. Nondies, I just don't know what to say.. a major disappointment, but maybe their steam has run out. But KCB seem to be in fine form and have run away with the league at this stage. I will post the league tables once I get them, but it should be KCB on top, followed by Nakuru, Impala and Quins in that order. Mwamba remain at 5th with Nondies 6th and Strathmore and Machine yet to score a collect a point.
Do have a good week.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
go. My mama and I will be there to support the comrades.
Well in Kopo for making it to the Kenya 15's. Go win in Morocco and
good luck Kenya. Pity Felix Wanjala missed out but better for Machine.
The thriller of the week will be that particular match. With Mwamba fielding its 7's stars who make tries out of nothing and Impala losing some of its starts to the 15's team, it seems like a mouth watering, high scoring match. My call..eh eh.. Impala by 5. KCB will now face the Nondies challenge. I think with four key players missing in the Nondies set up it will be mighty hard for them to hold up as they have done. I will give KCB a bonus point victory. With Quins missing seven players, mainly pack players, their dominance in that area will be dimmed. Their backs are not really dangerous and will suffer under the free flowing balls from the Machine (B2B, smile..). However, I still give them the game, but by a score. Nakuru will continue the education of Strathmore with a bonus point victory.
Do have a good weekend. Scores here after the games.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
That a union with no transparent leadership or way of doing things can pull the wool over so many people's eyes is indeed a mean feat. The Government is impressed, the President is impressed and all the other federations who gatecrashed the Rugby Luncheon hosted by His Excellency the President. They all think Richard Omwela is a god and has a midas touch. And that the rugby fraternity is squabble free, with no issues blowing up in the press, no fights for supremacy, and that it is a mere $1M operation means it does not attract the hawks that circle anywhere there is money to be
Time is saved by single sourcing of goods and supplies. There are no vested interests in the union hence all will agree with the suggested vendor.
Money is saved since everyone is a volunteer. All the people who worked during the JWRT and the Safari Sevens volunteered their services free of charge. This saved hundreds of thousands of shillings that were now used to fly in
fakeSamoa, Japan, France, South Africa and other core teams of the IRB circuit who demanded hefty allowances as well. This also saved money to be paid to the players as bonuses for their sterling season.
Time and money is saved by not advertising for volunteers. With the union old boy network, everyone knows someone who can volunteer their services, saving the union time and money in advertising, vetting, interviewing and finally selecting volunteers.
The grounds are adequate for our needs. Just a fan could not have been more accurate in his assessment. We can only take so many people into the grounds. That three quarters for them pay the full fare and only getting standing room should be understood by all, and after all, they could have worked their way into the hospitality tents like we did. And once the grounds are full, those are all the fans the union needs. The rest can go watch on television. After all, we negotiated with SuperSport to televise the games live for such people.
But I ramble as usual. What is needed is a stakeholders forum to chart the way forward. Transparency in terms of accountability is also paramount. US$ 1M may be kids change to some, but to others, it is more than their whole world. And there must be consensus in everything, fixtures, team selection criteria/methodology, club support for selections (last year the union threatened to ban clubs who did not release their players to the National teams) and lastly, transparency, or did I say that already? Point being all grumbling is caused by lack of transparency and doing things in secrecy. Cronyism and nepotism are at a new level in this union and it's simply a matter of who licks who's a$$. And yet the SOYA people will still be convinced that this is the best run federation in this country once more. I wonder if success on the field is a reflection of the level of management?
For me the serious things that need consideration is the upgrade of the grounds to have every spectator able to sit, take a piss and enjoy the game. Barring that.. facility sharing arrangements need to be put in place. Remember, it is not the success of your team that will give you international events, it is the facilities and infrastracture you control.. and that is why Hong Kong and Dubai will always get the nod ahead of us (remember there were 7's legs in Shanghai and Singapore as well!!). Secondly, a way to translate the success of the 7's team to the 15's. I'm no expert on that and I have my ideas.. but let's all share the ideas and come up with an agreeable way forward. Barring that a complete severance of the teams from each other. Thirdly, the union must be seen to be developing the clubs. These are the bedrock or rugby in Kenya and without which, even the union ceases to exist. And on that note they should help clubs get sponsors, not fight for the same sponsors. It is not rare to see union officials schmoozing with clubs' sponsors during club events, trying to offer them more value for the same peanuts!
And I think that would be a fair start. Do have a good week. My ramble is late and almost overtaken by events. Tomorrow will see the first Kenya Cup Match ever to be held under floodlights when Impala host Mwamba at Impala Club. I have my reservations on that, but let it be!
The following is the Kenya 15s Team that will represent the country at this year’s Confederation of Africa Rugby Trophy tournament to be held in Casablanca, Morocco from Wednesday 8th July – Saturday 11th July 2009.The team is due to depart on Sunday 5th July 2009 at 1500hrs and return on Monday 13th July 2009.
1. Vincent Ongera - Kenya Harlequin FC
2. Lawrence Buyachi – Nakuru RFC
3. Vincent Mose – Impala RFC
4. Andrew Amonde - Kenya Commercial Bank RFC
5. Michael Aung – Nondescripts RFC
6. Gray Cullen – Nondescripts RFC
7. Anthony Ogot - Kenya Commercial Bank RFC
8. Benedict Nyambu – Nondescript RFC
9. Charles Kanyi – Nondescripts RFC
10. Innocent Simiyu [Captain] – Impala RFC
11. Patrice Agunda – Kenya Harlequin FC
12. Daniel Kiptoo – Kenya Harlequin FC
13. Paul Oimbo – Impala RFC
14. Linus Simiyu – Impala RFC
15. Naftali Bondo – Kenya Harlequin FC
16. Dennis Abenga – Nakuru RFC
17. Joel Nganga – Kenya Harlequin FC
18. Leon Adongo – Kenya Harlequin FC
19. Wilson Kopondo – Mean Machine RFC
20. Edwin Alubaka – Kenya Commercial Bank RFC
21. Kelvin Omiyo – Nakuru RFC
22. Gibson Weru – Nakuru RFC
23. Victor Oduor – Kenya Harlequin FC
24. Peter Kepha Odera – Strathmore RFC
25. Owiro Asiko - Head of Delegation
26. Michael Otieno – Head Coach
27. Edward Kinyany - Assistant Coach
28. Charles Ngovi - Assistant Coach
29. Christopher Makachia - Team Physio
30. Leonard Wangila - Team Manager
Comments: I'm not sure if this is a genuine Africa Cup competition given that the four teams in the World Cup Qualifier are not participating. Four teams - Kenya, Senegal, Morocco and Cameroon meet in Casablanca. Two teams play each other - Kenya playing Senegal and Morocco playing Cameroon, the winners of the matches meet in some sort of final. There is a Southern group comprising Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Botswana and Zambia so I presume the winners will play each other in a
It is gratifying to see the new names in the squad. It is disappointing not to see the 7's stars in the squad. However, this maybe vindicates this post and this post. And maybe that is the direction to go!
We will try to get the updates from Casablanca and post them here as soon as possible. Weekly Ramble later today.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Firstly congrats to Nondies for hosting Lord Digby Jones who is a non-executive director of Leicester Tigers UK and a former UK Minister of State in Trade and Investment. Lord Jones unveiled a set of kit that his club has donated to Nondies as they begin a partnership that is expected to last many years to come. The White Shirts are desperate to get back to the top of Kenya Rugby as currently they are struggling at the lower end of the leagues.
The real business now.
- The KRFU has not presented proper financial accounts for 3 years and yet they go ahead and blast other sports associations telling them to follow their example of being accountable and transparent. Dear Sirs (not sure if there are ladies) kindly let the Kenya Rugby Fraternity know when you shall avail proper accounts ?
- Please present the final Bamburi Series Accounts and disclose to the public what was the income and the expenditure in all 3 countries that the tournament was played in.
- Junior World Rugby Trophy Championship. Please avail the final accounts and disclose to the public what was the income and expenditure of this world class tournament that was held in April 2009.
- Safari Sevens 2009. Please avail the final accounts and disclose to the public what was the sponsorship income and expenditure of this annual tournament that was held in June 2009.
- Why was the quality of the tournament so low? Other than Kenya Shujaa there was no other world class side in attendance. Samoa and Japan were joyriders of the highest order.
- Is it true that after 2010 Tusker will be pulling out and that they will no longer be willing to sponsor the Safari Sevens?
- Who are the directors and shareholders of Safari Sevens Ltd, Friends of Rugby Ltd and Kenya Rugby Ltd? Are there any clubs represented there?
- Whose decision was it to make Hon. Musalia Mudavadi the patron of Kenya Rugby? No offence to my old school colleague 'Phantom' or 'Phandom' but he was also once patron of AFC Leopards Football Club and look at their current fortunes having fallen from grace to bare grass. Is this the direction KRFU want to take? Why not Hon. Sambili or President Kibaki himself as they now wine and dine regularly?
- Are the KRFU really serving the game in Kenya or are the officials serving the interests of their own and close associates.
I do hope someone or somebody will give answers to the above questions. Meanwhile enjoy your rugby.