Menengai oilers win National rugby circuit

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Menengai Oilers lift the National Seven's Circuit championship cup./COURTESY

BY>>MORGAN MWAMUYE

Menengai Oilers are 2022 champions of the Kenya Rugby Union’s (KRU) National Seven’s Circuit.

Menengai Oilers were crowned champions after qualifying to their fourth final of the series which includes; Kakamega 7s played in Kakamega, Prinsloo 7s played in Nakuru, Driftwood 7s played in Mombasa and Dala 7s hat is played in Kisumu.

The Circuit came to an end on Sunday evening at the Kakamega Sevens held at The Bullring stadium in Kakamega County.

At the peak of the Kakamega 7s, Kabras Sugar were winners of the event after beating Gibson Weru’s charges 19-7 making them the sixth different winner this year.

Oilers tried keeping up with the Kabrasians when Timothy Okwemba hit the five pointer and Geoff Ominde with the two in hopes to level the score as the half ended in favor of the sugar millers 12-7.

Winners Kabras were in a rather challenging pool D accompanied by KCB, Kabarak University and Daystar Falcons; where they beat Kabarak University 42-7 and Daystar Falcons 17-12 in the first and second round before losing to National Seven’s Circuit defending champions KCB 14-7.

However all eyes were on Oilers as they only needed a final qualification to be feted as champions of the national circuit.

Menengai Oilers’ Clinton Odhiambo in action./COURTESY

The Nakuru based rugby club won all games heading to the finals, including a 17-12 win against KCB in the semis showing their zeal and determination to finish top of the log.

“First of all I want to give it to the boys, a very exciting moment for me as a coach and for my team. We worked hard and winning the series is just the culmination of the hard work we’ve done!” stated an elated Gibson Weru, who also has a Circuit title from his previous club Nakuru RFC.

The two-time circuit champion added that his team fell short in the final to a well-organized Kabras but that does not stop him from celebrating the championship.

Menengai Oilers’ Dennis Abukuse and Steve Arunga were very influential this season and their efforts were rewarded after featuring in the National Seven’s Circuit Team of The Series 2022.

George Ooro (Strathmore Leos), Eliakim Kichoi (Mwamba), Harmony Wanalewa (Homeboys), and Patrick Odongo (Daystar Falcons) were also part of the elite squad for the season.

Since the start of the season on the 21st of May 2022 at the Kabeberi Sevens, Menengai Oilers have shown maximum focus to the title challenge finishing third after heroics from Austin Sikutwa with five tries across the event.

They beat Homeboys 26-5 at the third place finals.

KCB however came top after beating Strathmore Leos 12-10 in the finals.

A rematch of the Kabeberi Sevens finals came alive at the finals on the Christie Stevens final at RFUEA grounds Nairobi but this time the Students got their revenge clinching the title in a 15-10 win against the Bankers.

Oilers finished third winning 12-7 against Western Bulls.

In Mombasa, the heat of the sun didn’t hold Mwamba RFC from lifting the Driftwood Sevens Cup at the expense of Menengai Oilers who came in second after a 19-7 match.

This ensured defending champions and Kabeberi winners, KCB to go top of the log with 58 points, Strathmore Leos in second with 55 points and Menengai Oilers third at 53 points.

Homeboys win at the Dala Sevens at the Jomo Kenyatta Stadium in Kisumu County on Sunday July 3rd 2022 meant that Simon Odongo’s side became the fourth different winner of the National Seven’s Circuit.

Homeboys beat Menengai Oilers 19-14 in an invigorating final as Weru’s boys started converting late towards the final whistle.

Menengai Oilers however won their maiden circuit cup at their backyard, Nakuru City in the Prinsloo Seven’s on the Nakuru Athletic Club grounds.

The 12-7 win against Strathmore Leos allowed the home team leap past KCB to top of the log with 94 points, four points ahead of second placed Dennis Wanja’s bankers and Strathmore Leos third on 85 points.

Coming into Kakamega Sevens, Oilers needed only a final stage qualification which they did in prime fashion.

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