Driftwood 7s preview

Action between Western Bulls and KCB Rugby. Photo Courtesy/ Denis Acre-half
Action between Western Bulls and KCB Rugby. Photo Courtesy/ Denis Acre-half

The National Sevens Circuit makes a comeback this weekend with teams and rugby fanatics heading to Mombasa for the 30th edition of Driftwood sevens.

The circuit went on a two-week break to pave the way for the first-ever Currie Cup matches in Kenya.

Pool A: Strathmore Leos, Impala Saracens, Homeboyz, Mombasa RFC

Fresh from winning Christie’s sevens, Strathmore Leos will face Impala Saracens, Homeboyz, and Driftwood sevens hosts Mombasa.

Log leaders Strathmore will be looking to stage a repeat of the Christies 7s where they held off KCB 15-10 to emerge winners. Strathmore Leos who are eyeing the first ever National 7s Circuit title since 2009 will be keen to maintain their perfect run that has seen them remain unbeaten in the pool phase in the last two outings and reach all the finals.

Impala Saracens who featured in the 2019 Driftwood 7s final head to Mombasa having been inconsistent. The side which played in all the cup quarters in 2019 has  managed just one Cup quarterfinal appearance in the last two events.  They will be seeking to improve to rise into the top 10.

2019 second runners-up Homeboyz head to Mombasa after a mixed performance in the last two events. The Deejayz reached the Kabeberi 7s quarters, recording two clean sheets, 29-0 against Blak Blad and 45-0 against Paul Murunga’s Quins. They registered a drop in Christie 7s failing to qualify for the last eight after a loss to Western Bulls and Mwamba.  Homeboyz are placed fourth on the log and a good performance this weekend could see them climb into the top three.

Mombasa RFC are the 2022 Driftwood sevens hosts. They will be keen to utilize the hot coastal weather  to their advantage. Mombasa failed to feature in the previous opening tournament and will be looking to do well in this to earn points that will see them keep tabs with the rest of the teams.

Pool B: KCB rugby, Kabras RFC , Daystar Falcons, Jumia Pay South Coast Pirates

KCB Rugby will be eager do well after failing to roar during Christie sevens. The Bankers reached the finals stage but were overpowered by Strathmore. 2019 Driftwood 7s winners will be eager to defend the title this weekend to keep the hope of retaining the National 7s Circuit title alive.

The pool also has 2017 National 7s Champions Kabras RFC. The Sugarmen missed the quarters at the Kabeberi 7s while they managed to reach the last eight during Christies 7s. This performance sees them at position nine on the log. As they head to Mombasa, Max Adaka will be keen to better Christie 7s performance.

Daystar Falcons have done well this year. The 2019 National 7s Circuit Division II Champions reached their first-ever Main Cup Quarters since 2013 during Kabeberi 7s. Daystar would registere a drop at the Christie’s but produced the most promising player, Patrick Odongo who also ended the campaign as the top try scorer. As Caleb Bosire’s charges head to the coastal city, they will be keen to correct the errors that cost them in the previous circuit.

Jumia Pay Pirates qualified for the top tier after finishing third in the second division during Kabeberi 7s. They made their debut division one appearance during Christie 7s. They will be eager to impress in Mombasa.

Pool C: Menengai Oilers, Kenya Harlequins FC, Top Fry Nakuru, Blak Blad

Third-placed Menengai Oilers registered impressive results in the past two rounds. The Kenya Cup finalists reached the semifinals in both the Kabeberi and Christie sevens tournaments. Gibson Weru’s side has lost to KCB in both events at the semi-final stage. With four legs remaining, the side will be working hard to reach the first final this season to boost their title chances.

Christie sevens hosts Kenya Harlequins reached their first Cup Quarter Final this season during their home tournament. With a new coach, the side will have something to prove. Paul Murunga led Homeboyz to two National 7’s circuit titles; 2016 and 2018, and is eager to carry the form to Quins after a slow start in the first two events.

Nakuru RFC sit at position 10 on the log with 15 points.  They reached the quarterfinal during Kabeberi 7s but received a 26-5 defeat from Menengai Oilers.

They dropped in Christies sevens and had to play in the challenge trophy after missing the quarters. This weekend, they will be eager to reach the final stage.  Wanyore won the 2018 Driftwood Sevens final by defeating Mwamba 12-7.

Blak Blad lost all their Pool matches in the last rounds of the circuit. In the Kabeberi 7’s, the students were handed defeats by Homeboyz (29-0), (Oilers 19-5), and Quins (21-19). William Motto’s misfortunes continued during Christie’s when they were held off by Daystar Falcons (21-5), Strathmore Leos (34-0), and Impala (33-14) consecutively. They will be eager to bounce back to winning ways.

Pool D: Western Bulls, Mwamba Rugby club, Nondies, Zetech University

Zetech Oaks have been promising this year. The students recently won the Division two competition at the Christie 7s. This will be their maiden Division 1 appearance. The students were promoted to the Championship level this year and have since registered impressive results. They will be looking to cause upsets in their pool retain the top division status.

Mwamba Rugby Club, on the other hand, will be looking to showcase their supremacy in this Pool. Mwamba have to proceed to the semis  in the opening two events and will be looking to impress this weekend at the coast.

Western Bulls contested for the bronze  medal at the Christie 7s but fell short 12-7 to Oilers. The hungry Bulls will be aiming higher this weekend having had enough time to prepare for this trip.

Nondies also head to Mombasa hoping to make their first quarterfinal appearance this season after being locked out in the last outing due to point differential.

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