Go Machine Go.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
Impala will overrun Nondies by 8 points, KCB will whip Mwamba by over 15 points, Strathmore will harass Quins but eventually lose by 8 points and I expect Machine to beat Nakuru by a score.
Results here after the matches, have a great weekend.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Michael Joseph and Titus Naikuni
It is hoped that significantly you were keenly watching the outcome of
yesterdays KRFU election. Two historical things happened and these
should be of great worry to you both gentlemen.
1. The KRFU AGM was held and for the 4th or 5th year in a row no
accounts or financial statements were passed. This is a common tactic
of this body. Deeper meaning is sponsors can never really track their
money once it is bequethed to KRFU.
2. David Lukalo or 'Lucky' as called in certain circles will go down
in history as the only KRFU Treasurer never to produce a set a proper
accounts while in office for four years. That is an amazing record.
With sponsors pumping in more money to this body they must really ask
where is the money going really?
EABL and Virgin ran for the hills while they could. With free Kenya
Airways tickets for directors to fly around the world, Safaricom will
soon feel the desire of directors (actually Frank Sabwa and cronies)
demanding airtime and free phones.
As for Richard Omwela all one can say is prepare for the battle of
your life. Now you are in the radar of this unscruplous group and your
are next on their targets. Fred Ollows has won this round and he will
definitely work hard to make sure you make an exit in 12 months time.
Michael Mwangi Muthee must be smiling very hard as Edward Rombo
prepares his triumphant entry in a year. Then again there could be
surprises in store.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Last year's posts prior to the AGM were heated and so were the responses. We were called partisan and accused of having an agenda. We were accused of being broke and hiding to throw stones from the bushes. You be the judge yourself. Ours was to point out glaring irregularities in governance and procurement and all that the union does. The KRFU constitution is also clearly a strange one in that it is written to guarantee continuity! What if that continuity is not desired? What if radical surgery is required? Or, on the other side, what if we need uninterrupted continuity? What the strange constitution also ensures is that good continuity can be disrupted. A case in point is that the director who was in charge of the largely successful Sevens squad, has reached the end of his term and must step down! What options remain for him? Is he now a spent force in rugby, his youth notwithstanding? Or does he go for higher office?
As I try to be neutral, I will talk about the higher office. The "owners" of Rugby in Kenya felt, a few years ago, that they needed their own people in office. I do not know if it was to "tame" the Chairman, or to assist him in his goals and in his vision. But first they had other business to deal with. To sort out once and for all what they perceived as the greatest evil bedeviling Rugby in Kenya. To tame one club that was the epitome of impunity. That was the greatest hindrance to the smooth running of the union. The stumbling block to ground development on Ngong Road. And a constant threat to the stability of the union. That they were perfectly placed to do this was not in doubt. Having overseen the collapse of a one time giant club in the country, and from the inside, what easier way to do that than as a protagonist! And so two years were wasted before they realised who the real enemy was.
Fast forward to today and what do they have on their list of achievements that the chairman cannot claim as his own? I wait to see. And for Sasha Mutai, with his impressive and snowy clean track record, has he got a right to challenge for the top seats? An astounding YES from me. And given (without putting down unsubstantiated claims
As a parting shot, I still don't understand what is at stake here. If there is no money in the union and there is no benefit in being a director or an officer, what's the big deal? Why not have a governing body of clubs representatives who among themselves annually select the officers? As per this post of last year, iko kitu and I will find out what.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
One man who is clearly awaiting the outcome of results is KRFU
Chairman Richard Omwela. As fate would have it two of his internal
opponents vice-chairman Fred Odhiambo 'Niga' and Secretary-General
Frank Sabwa face stiff opposition in their bids to retain their seats.
Both have never hidden their contempt for Omwela whom they consider a
non-rugby man having never played rugby. Both F's are somewhat
carrying baggage full of liabilities with Sabwa being remembered
notoriously for the Kenya u18 fiasco in Morrocco where Sabwa and a
shady travel agent jeopardised travel arrangements for personal
financial gain. Niga on the other hand has been largely invisible as
the KRFU number 2 since ascending to that position being more
preoccupied as Postmaster-General at Posta of which now he has sued
the government for failing to renew his contract after he was
dismissed on corruption allegations. These 2 F's Omwela would gladly
love to do without especially after they strongly campaigned behind
the scenes for Michael Muthee Mwangi in the 2009 KRFU AGM. Even former
teammate Edward Rombo now firmly a Mwamba man and contesting for
directorship has loudly called for their removal from the KRFU. It
will be remembered the two failed to endorse Rombo as national 7's
coach and instead let Ben Ayimba be appointed to the post when Rombo
should have been the natural successor to Gordon Anampiu. Sabwa and
Niga are however not going down without a fight as their pillar of
support is KRFU Development Officer Fred Ollows who has been burning
the midnight oil campaigning for the two as they are his strongest
allies on the KRFU board due to their association at Barclays rugby
when it existed. Ollows knows his position will come under sharp
scrutiny should the duo make the widely expected exit. Omwela must now
know that Ollows is the enemy within. More important for Omwela is the
2 F's must be voted out and whoever replaces the 2 will be much better
prospects than the two currently. Hopefully clubs will see it Omwela's
way and vote in new blood. Since coming back from Las Vegas Omwela has
uncharacterically remained silent as he awaits the outcome of the KRFU
Agm and he keeps his fingers crossed. Fate can decide to be kind or
not kind to him.
(Now reporting from USA)
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
150,000 up for grabs. Together with that the 24 team competition has
30 points up for grabs to the winner. This is where the IRB winner
willl be determined (maybe) as it will be a crucial turning point in
Kenya have been placed in a very competitive pool in Hong Kong. The
pool where they have been seeded tops in Pool F is more of an
Inter-Africa supremacy contest or an African Pool of Death. Their
opponents will be outgoing IRB Champions South Africa, perennial
rivals Zimbabwe and Asian dark horses Korea (probaby South). Kenya
Rugby 7's better known as Shujaa will have their rugby credentials
severely tested in Hong Kong.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
the next round of the IRB 7's already looms.
The Australia Rugby Union (ARU) have released the pools. Kenya are
placed in a tricky pool as follows and will need to further raise
their game to progress. They are paired with giants Fiji, world
champions Wales and unpredictable Papua New Guinea.
It will be recalled that last year Kenya reached their first ever and
only final in Adelaide where they were overwhelmed by current
defending and slowly outgoing IRB Series Champions South Africa.
Papua New Guinea
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Rugby 7's. My mama could not have asked for more from Khayange, Injera
and the rest of the team. They certainly stole our hearts by finishing
3rd in Las Vegas.
Why 3rd? I say third because the only two teams we lost to were the
ones that played the finals being Samoa the champs and New Zealand All
Blacks the runnerup. Kudos to the boys and the coaches.
Looking a bit closer at our games it was indeed rather obvious that
against the lesser teams we play very well and score at will. Against
the big teams we struggle and when shut out we have no plan B
seroiusly lacking ideas. Khayange and Injera were shut out at times
and we went into panic mode.
The positive side is we made an attempt to use the subs more and it
indeed helped. What we need is quality from the bench. Adema needs
more game time to get into his stride, Nyambu needs to come more off
the bench to score vital winning tries. Allan Onyango's presence was
massive for the team and so was assistant coach Felix Ochieng. He
provides a good balance when present.
Amonde is still not an international class player and he urgently
needs to pave way for Dennis 'Mawanja' Mwanja also known famously as
the 'IronMan'. Mwanja is back to his devastating self as has been seen
in the last few weeks. The injury is gone and the form is back.
Let's welcome the team back and give them a real heroes or Shujaa
welcome. Go Kenya Go. Shujaa our rugby team.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Looking at the Australian performance, their impeccable and impressive handling got them out of lots of trouble and put them in favorable positions and that is something we should emulate.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
I saw this on UR7s Twitter feed and could not resist. What more inspiration do we need in the "sin" city. Expectations are high as always, I have toned mine down a mite.. A semi final appearance is more than good enough and shows steady progression. It will give us more to look forward to in the other legs.
Updates here after the matches.
Friday, February 12, 2010
The action couldn't be better. The weekend is full of Kenya Rugby. There's the 7's in Las Vegas, there's Kenya Cup and Eric Shirley and as a bonus the Super 14 has began and all New Zealand teams are favorites.
The Kenya 7's look like they will click this weekend so its one up and wishing them all the best. They are indeed in a tough pool but should qualify. Coach Ayimba should use the bench exhaustively and get the best out of the boys. Biko and Horace deserve more game time and Allan Onyango must replace Nyambu or Opong. With assistant coach Felix Ochieng in Las Vegas, the technical balance will be maintained. Good luck Kenya Kenya 7's. Go Kenya Go. My mama and I will be awake and watching at Mwenda's or Shebeen.
Kenya v Chile Sat 13th February 2010, 11.50pm (Kenya Time)
Kenya v Scotland Sun 14th February 2010 2.56am (Kenya Time)
Kenya v Samoa Sun 14th February 2010 6.36am (Kenya Time)
Impala host Strathmore University, KCB host Mean Machine, Quins host Nondies and Nakuru host Mwamba. My calls are Impala over Strathmore, though not by too much. KCB will pip Machine, one score the range. Quins should beat Nondies by 10 points and I think Nakuru/Mwamba will be tight, not more than 5 points in it.
The Sevens side is in Las Vegas for the US leg of the IRB Sevens World Series and they have a lot to make up for. The crowd support in the US is usually good and the boys may rise to the challenge this time. We are in Pool C and play first against Chile at 11.50 p.m., second match against Scotland at 2.56 a.m. and lastly against Samoa at 6.36 a.m. all times EAT.
Hopefully we will bring you updates after the matches on this site. Do have a good weekend.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
For over a decade now, the union has concentrated on "developing" the sevens team as a viable product, through the annual Safari Sevens, and through increasing support for the team as it participates in the IRB Sevens World Series. The profile of these seven (?) gentlemen was raised so high they started raising eyebrows. Carisbrook of New Zealand saw the opportunity and were the first jersey sponsors. Skewed though that deal was, it was a start in itself. Next came Tusker, with Kooga in tow. And things started looking up. From a team that simply took jerseys for free, they are now commanding sponsorships of upto Ksh. 15M in six months and for the Safari Sevens, from a mere Ksh. 3M in the first year to over Ksh. 28M this year. So how has this helped rugby development in Kenya?
The rising fortunes of the seven (?) gentlemen has created a yearning for association with the name 'Rugby". Many do not really know the difference between seven a side and fifteen a side, but the yearning is turning into a craving. Everyone now wants to be a part of rugby. Be it the spectators (funs?), or even now, sponsors. I had mentioned in one of my last rambles of the year that clubs would get larger and larger sponsorships this year. And it has come to pass. Already Impala managed to squeeze a good amount from Resolution Health and Quins have managed to squeeze an even larger amount from beauty product supplier Nivea. And the trend will continue. Teams like Mwamba and Mean Machine will realise that they sold themselves cheap to water manufacturer H2O and demand more and maybe, just maybe, Nondies will work on being a formidable team, able to attract sponsors with demands, as opposed to getting handouts from philanthropic supporters.
So has the union played a role in this? By demanding more and more from sponsors, they have created a place below this for those not willing to foot the big bucks to come in. All this of course inadvertently as they themselves have failed to secure a major sponsor for the fifteens team!
Sunday, February 7, 2010
The leagues kick off next weekend. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
We do not seem to be exerting ourselves. We just want the job to be done and the plays to sort out the scoring. Nothing extra. The normal people are stepping up their game and providing the difference. Captain Humphrey Kayange as usual leading from the front. And Ian Simiyu, working hard to create as always. Vice Captain Gibson Weru Kahuthia is also bringing in the extra edge. And this time too, Lavin Asego is doing much more, though I think he should lay off goal kicking for a while. Collins Injera.. well, he seems to be waiting for space to avail itself.. doing nothing on his own.
Maybe it is our normal hardship that makes us special. Maybe the tag of under dogs makes us work harder. Maybe we need to step back and look at it from the outside. But it seems my predictions were wrong, and Samoa will definitely have our number. Notwithstanding the injury to Ashioya and maybe Injera will wake up sore after that body slam, and maybe we may just wake up mentally tough. But I look forward to Las Vegas, where the 13th man will be there in full force.
Have a good Furahiday.
UPDATE: We meet Samoa in the second quarter final at 04:55 a.m. EAT.
Next game at about 11.
Next game in 3 hours.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
1. Nzioka Muema Impala -Good size, but can he get the mobility required for test level rugby? I think of Richard bands outsprinting backs from half pitch to score a great try for the springboks against the all blacks. Luckily there is lots of time to work on his fitness.
2. Edwin Alubaka KCB - Does not impose himself sufficiently, does not know how to get the most from his size and strenght, hopeless ball presentation skills.
3. Lawrence Terer Impala -Was part of last seasons nakuru pack of devastating forwards, more game time required to make a more informed accessment.
4. David Abenga Impala -Another one from nakuru, Was impressive in his Elgon cup debut but has been a pale shadow of himself at the floodlits
5. Daniel Kiptoo Kenya Harlequins -Super player added more to his ammunition last season, crunching tackling and excellent distribution. Cant think of a weakness. Can teach everyone a thing or two about tackling.
6. Vincent On'gera Quins -More accuracy needed in his lineout throws and stronger ball carrying.
7. Simon Warui Nakuru -Don’t know anything about him but comes from an excellent stable “nakuru”
8. Wilson K'Opondo Mean Machine -Needs to be more explosive and work on his hands otherwise has great potential to take his game to another level.
9. Mike Aung Nondies- Had a forgettable last season, and based on that does not deserve to be on the squad.
10. George Odipo Quins -Needs to work on his concentration on the pitch and also his hands. Excellent ball carrier, but nonexistent in defense.
11. Ronny Mwenesi KCB -Good all round skills, jumping, rucking, defense, hands. Call up has been begging for a while.
12. Ken Isindu KCB -Tends to disappear in the games he plays, better carrier than rucker, tackling skills are a bit on the lower end. Needs to bulk up to be more effective. Otherwise an interesting selection.
13. Nick Lang'o Nakuru- Excellent tackler and rucking on and around the base, needs to be more distractive out wide however.
14. David Mogere Quins -Best loosie in the game. 100% commitment to the hit. The ultimate backs nightmare. Needs to however turnover the ball more often after the big hits.
15. Kevin Umbuge Impala -blows hot and cold, If only he could defend as well as he attacks. Lacks concentration on the pitch. Tackling skills questionable.
16. Lawrence Buyachi Impala -One of the best forwards in ruck play and aggression around the base. However naming him at eightman is a bit too soon considering his only too recent move to the position. I wonder how many games the selectors used to inform their decision.
17. Gray Cullen Nondies -Was brilliant when he played last season, but went off the radar. Needs to play more to get the position back.
18. Duncan Ekasi Impala -Blows hot and cold, nice aggression but tends to get abit overboard should aim to concede less penalties. Needs more gas, tends to take too long to detach from scrums and get to breakdown points.
19. Peter Mutai KCB -Needs to take the game more seriously. Needs a lot of strength training, and improve his running game. Good with mixing up things though.
20. Michael Mugo Impala -there is much more to being a scrumhalf than just making your passes. Needs to learn more about his position.
21. Charles Kanyi Nondies -Excellent line breaking scrumhalf. Has an amazing eye for the gap. Can do wonders in a game. Passing the ball under pressure is his weakest link. If only he can work on passing from the base. Only God knows!
22. Ken Andola Strathmore -Brilliant mind but has to get out off his shell and take control of the backs. Be more assertive on the pitch! Also needs to improve his running game and bulk up.
23. Nato Simiyu Impala -Brilliant runner and passer of the ball, always takes gaps from nowhere. Excellent control and leadership of his backs. His kicking game is the most unpredictable ever and can either win or lose matches. Worst tackler in the business however! Girly tackler.
24. Jotham Yahuma KCB -Good runner and passer, kicking game not so good. Just above average. Does not inspire or poses that creative spark to take control of a game.
25. Kelvin Omiyo Impala -True boshing centre, amazing strength like an ox. Ball retention and presentation excellent. Should however once in a while offload on the tackle.
26. Bobby Oyugi Nondies -Another excellent player but poor frontal tackling, which is a must for strong centre play.
27. Kevin Gisore Impala -A bulked up Gisore, will take Kenya to rugby heaven. Superb all round skills. Always makes amazing use of the ball. Best all round centre at the moment.
28. Dennis Muhanji Quins -A find from last season. Should work on his killer instinct. Makes breaks but seldom takes them to fruition. He should make an interesting watch this season. Can only get better.
29. Felix Ayange Strathmore -Young player should work on his strength, plain runner also. But has good speed and concentration on the pitch.
30. Willaim Ambaka Quins -Have no clue whatsoever who this is.
31. Calvins Biko KCB -fantastic hands, good running lines, but needs to be more unpredictable adding a goosestep, sidestep or handoff to his runs.
32. Graham Kombo Nakuru -Needs to work on his ball carrying and protection skills on contact. Also needs to be more imaginative and expressive on the pitch.
33. Leon Adongo Quins -Needs to take the game more seriously. Build up more passion and hunger to score. Devastating runner.
34. Vincent Mose Impala -Perfect form last season, but seems to be losing his brilliant counter attack running impetus. Needs strength training.
35. Jay Williams Nondies -The most un-inspired pick for me. Can win or lose a match with his boots and touch-finders. Seems to lose more than he wins them.
Hilary Itela – Had a storming came back season. Scored a tone of tries, extremely mobile and with a proper fitness program should be explosive this season.
Frank Ndong – His experience cannot be ignored. Still pushing the game at the highest levels. Superb leadership scrummaging and rucking skills.
Oscar Ouma – this player has gas to burn, a no-nonsense tackler, excellent hands, superb hand off, brilliant steals. Maybe playing at wing at the moment but is the most complete flanking material.
Moses Kola – dependable player, tones of experience, seems to be getting back to full match fitness.
Tackling has and will always be the most important aspect of the game. The whole team save for a few, consists of very weak tacklers, training on this should be a priority area for our coaches. There are always murmurs that tackling training is for beginners. Please someone tell me why the Springboks and All Blacks have numerous tackling drills and sessions. If you cant make a full frontal tackle you are a very weak link on the field.
Another aspect is our own lineout’s, which have seen a lack of variation or mixing up of throws. Uganda had a very interesting variation in last year’s elgon cup which we could not defend against. Our players should be well drilled and work like clock work and aim to steal a good number of opposition balls.
Our defensive formation was also quite shambolic and we leaked tries like clueless babies. But the main chink in the formation was yet again missed or incomplete tackles.
Our coaches have a long time to work on these deficiencies. I do not think that visits by our national team technical bench to club training sessions to work with coaches in eliminating the known shortcomings of selected players would not be welcomed. When it comes to national duty we should all have a common goal.
To me these next two tournaments will show whether we actually have it in us to win a leg of the circuit or not. This side is the best prepared and should be the best conditioned side we are able to produce based on the build up and training the have had. Let us wait and see.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
And a new day has come
Things of the past
Most times don't last
But use them towards
Finding ways to go forwards
Two years I've been here
And they have been dear
But do more I should
Anyway that I could
To keep with my musings
I must spread my wings
Fly away I will not
But fly wider I will
To keep my thoughts flowing
In more than one direction
For writing calms my hands
And also calms my minds
Yours truly has been invited to be a guest writer for authoritative website Ultimate Rugby Sevens. My maiden post is on right now on this link. I will not stop posting on this blog, but now I have more to write about. And thanks to all for your support, over these last few years.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Sometimes the insults and threats get to me. And I get worked up, prepared to return with the same as I receive. But without being "holier than thou", I am better than you. We are accused on this blog of being cowards as we remain anonymous, but the same people remain faceless as well. Does that mean we are doing something wrong? Does that mean all is well with Rugby in Kenya? Just thoughts for us all.
This year is a watershed year for Rugby in Kenya. Rugby finally has the recognition it always deserved. What with two audiences with none other than HEMEK and state honours from the same. Not to mention with rugby becoming an Olympic sport and now officially entitled to government funding, the pie is just getting juicier. And this being the first day of February, maybe it's a good day for my first post of the year.
The KRFU elections are due to be held this month. The chairman's seat is not up for grabs, but a few good ones are. And with the ridiculous constitution KRFU has in place, there is no reward for hard work but you must become an assassin. And with the high stakes now involved and posturing for 2016 (isn't that too far and yet we blame politicians for doing the same for 2012), it makes for an interesting 27 and a half days ahead. I urge you to keep it here as we await the nominations and as usual, we will give our take on what we feel.
I thank my fellow bloggers for trying to keep the blog alive in my absence. B2B and Ruggerbug, cheers. Though people may have issues with you writing or your likes, keep up the spirit. And Just a Fan and TRKRFU, this is your time... lets ramble!