Friday, May 27, 2011
In other news, former dual code rugby player and Kenyan legend Edward Rombo is ailing at the Aga Khan Hospital. Our thoughts and prayers are with him at this trying moment. Friends and family are currently exploring various efforts to raise funds for his successful treatment as the regime is quite costly.
Have a good weekend and enjoy your rugby.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
While Kenya were understandably ecstatic with their determined showing that saw them come back from 17-0 down, England were left to wonder what might have been as the crashed out of the London leg of the 7s tournament in front of a disappointed home crowd.
Three tries were enough to dump England out of the contest at the quarter final stage, with fly-half Lavin Asego’s 70 metre effort the most impressive off all three.
Asego would also be at the heart of the action later in the game as he slotted over the conversion that tipped the game in Kenya’s favour, edging his side ahead 17-19 in what proved to be the last opints socred in the game.
Russia proved to be tricky opponents in the Semi-finals later in the day, but once again Kenya displayed some previously unseen levels of determination and grit to see off the physical challenge of the Russians 15-19.
And once again it took some late heroics from Kenya to secure the win that put them in the Bowl final against Scotland. Captain Humphrey Kayange led the way as he crossed the white line thanks to some good work from flanker Oscar Ouma.
But sadly for Kenya, that’s where the adventure ended as Scotland just edged them out in what proved to be a tight final.
A Collins Injera try in the final minutes of the second half and a successful Asego conversion looked to be enough for Kenya. However their efforts proved in vain as Andrew Turnbull went over in the dying minutes of the game, and Peter Horne did what Asego couldn’t do in the opening stages and converted the try in what turned out to be the difference between the two sides.
The game finished 21-19 and Kenya will be delighted with the spirit they showed to comeback after what was a disastrous first day of the competition, but questions will be raised about their repeated appearances in the Bowl final, and not in the Cup of Plate finale.
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Monday, May 23, 2011
Tuilagi, who has since received a five-week ban, struck Ashton on the face with a trio of blows after the winger pushed him to the ground during the heated exchange in the first half of big free bet favourite Leicester’s 11-3 victory over Northampton.
The Tigers centre smashed a right fist into Ashton’s temple, which in slow motion, looked as though the England international had suffered whip-lash due to the force of the strike.
Despite only receiving a yellow card, Tuilagi should have been shown red. Ashton, who was also sin-binned for a push on the centre, shouldn't have reacted in the first place but there is no way Tuilagi can get away with an aggressive attack on a fellow professional.
Tuilagi will now miss the biggest game of his career, the Premiership final, after his horrific attack. He deserves it. He has been banned for five weeks because his actions cant be justified whether it was on a rugby field or not. It was an assault. In every day life, that would warrant an arrest for GBH and the 20-year-old can have no excuses.
Tuilagi’s international prospects could now be dashed after receiving a ban and his hopes of a call-up to the England squad for the World Cup could now under serious threat after his moment of madness. Tuilagi, the young player of the year and previously a bigfreebet favourite to make it to the World Cup, has been recognised for his impressive performances on the pitch for such a young age this season but his reputation will be seriously dented after the attack on Ashton.
The centre is still young and yet to mature as a professional but he should have enough common sense to know his actions were wrong and that there is no place on a rugby field, in such a big game and witnessed by a huge crowd, for fighting. The sport is naturally an aggressive game but nothing can condone violence of a sport field.
Do have a good week and take care.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
Judge Jeff Blackett explained the panel's decision, saying: "This was a top-end entry offence because there were three punches, the third of which was extremely forceful and caused significant injury."
"The top-end range is eight to 52 weeks and we determined that the appropriate entry point within that range is 10 weeks. This was reduced by 50% to reflect Manu's youth and inexperience, his admission of guilt and his genuine remorse."
Ashton himself has this week come out to make it known he bears no grudges over the incident, claiming the clash was just part and parcel of the game. That may have helped Tuilagi's case, as may have Martin Johnson's upcoming World Cup plans, which are widely expected to include the powerful Leicester man. Tuilagi has been an ever present in the Tigers' side this season, scoring seven tries in the process and impressing many who have seen him during this campaign. Fans of rugby betting will know he is a real talent.
The England set-up have been closely following the youngster's career and have high hopes for Tuilagi's future with the English team. Blooding the 20-year old at the World Cup later this season could be just what Tuilagi needs at this stage of his career to ensure he makes the next step-up. He will need to know that the focus needs to be on his skill as a player rather than for his disciplinary issues, with match officials now paying extra attention to him following this incident.
Anyway, I give the Rhinos over Rwenzori by 10 points. I do not think that Rwenzori have changed that much and in particular their technical nous. Cheetahs have also been in spanking form and I don't think the Sharks have the staying power to outlast them. Cheetahs by 10 also in this one.
Do have a good weekend and do enjoy your rugby.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
The ban was initially 10 weeks, but has been reduced because of a push from Ashton that contributed to the incident becoming ugly.
This is arguably a strange decision, especially when you consider that Tuilagi is still available for England in August where he could line up alongside the man he punched so viciously.
Speaking about the ban, disciplinary officer Jeff Blackett said: “We determined that there was some provocation from Chris Ashton who pushed and struck him in the back with his knee.”
“The top-end range is eight to 52 weeks and we determined that the appropriate entry point within that range is 10 weeks. This was reduced by 50% to reflect Manu's youth and inexperience, his admission of guilt and his genuine remorse.”
Tuilagi has also been fined £500 for his actions and will just want to put the issue to bed. He knows he was stupid to act in the way he did. He needs to rebuild his reputation somewhat after the incident, perhaps using his performances on the pitch upon his return to do this.
He could be doing this in an England shirt of course as he looks to be in contention for the matches against Wales on 6th and 13th August.
The World Cup preparations are then well and truly underway ahead of the tournament that sees them come up against those in a Scotland World Cup Shirt amongst others.
Tuilagi will be hoping that by this stage, the regrettable incident will be a distant memory and he will be performing well, alongside Ashton, as they attempt to secure World Cup glory.
Following the complete overhaul of the management structure of the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU), speculation is rife that Secretary-General Frank Sabwa and General Manager Auka Gecheo, will shortly be leaving their positions.
Sabwa, 48, is an elected officer of the KRU who stayed on at the board after the recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) as his position was not due for election.
However, with the creation of 11 new constitutional permanent committees and coupled with the fact that Sabwa represents the old order unanimously rejected at the March 30 AGM, it is believed his continued stay in office is no longer tenable.
How? Because, unlike before when in theory all his actions were subject to board control, which in practice was rarely adhered too, the formation of these committees, particularly those of finance and administration and that of Commercial Services, means end of the era of anything goes.
Sabwa, in his sixth year at the post, was instructively not handed any of the new committees to head, unlike all his fellow 11 directors.
His position is non-paying, except for expenses incurred in the course of union duties. Gecheo, 35, is an employee of the union and his employment status is subject to the wishes of the board.
His stay at the KRU has been subject of debate in the local rugby fraternity, mainly focussing on his trip to Australia,48 hours before Mwangi Muthee took office.
The trip, ostensibly to deliver kit from the South African manufacturer to the Sevens team in Adelaide, left a Sh500,000 hole in the KRU’s account.
The May 4 monthly board meeting approved changes in the management of local rugby. Two new directors were co-opted into the board, giving Chairman Muthee the leeway he requires to implement his player-focused vision.
The two new directors are Ray Dawa, 40, from Mombasa and Isaac Mwangi, 35, from Strathmore University RFC.
Dawa, a father of two, is a graduate of the Kenya Polytechnic University College and chairman of Mombasa RFC.
Mwangi,a father of one, holds a Masters degree in Sports Management from Kenyatta University and is the director of sports at Strathmore University and secretary of Strathmore RFC Leos.
One of the new directors is widely expected to replace Sabwa, with Gecheo’s position also precarious.
After Sabwa and Gecheo exit focus will shift to Fred Ollows, Eric Situma and Mike Mwanja.
Monday, May 16, 2011
The Semi Final pairings will be Rhinos vs Rwenzori and the Cheetahs against the Sharks.
Sorry for no pre-match post but Blogger was down and not allowing any postings... hope it's back in full now.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
A top Mwamba official has been sacked as Team Manager of the Lions franchise. The former official often an outspoken critic of the KRFU and close crony of new chairman Michael Mwangi Muthee has been fired for misappropriating funds meant for players allowances and carrying away water meant for player training.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Monday, May 9, 2011
Rhinos and Cheetahs are therefore poised for the Semi Finals whilst their potential opponents have to fight it out next week.
Do have a good week.
Friday, May 6, 2011
The Cheetahs/Victoria match promises to be stormer after Cheetahs posted a huge score over Rwenzori last week. If they travel well they should dominate this clash. Cheetahs by 10 is my call. With the low margin of loss Buffaloes received last week, will they finally win one at home? Rwenzori played in flashes last week and seemed mainly clueless on tactics, failing to score a single point, but they should be much more focused this weekend. I give this to them by 3 points. Lions/Sharks will also definitely produce fireworks and will be almost a rematch of the floodlit final a few weeks back. I think the lions will overcome and win by 5. The last match will be totally one sided...
Do enjoy your rugby and do have a good weekend.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
A good start by some teams but others seem to just be finding their feet. I believe the next two matches will live up to the billing and produce some good fireworks.
Do have a good week.