Menengai Oilers centre Dennis Abukuse say it was the fighting spirit instilled by head coach Gibson Weru, that shaped his stellar performance in the Oilers’ run towards their maiden 2022 National Sevens Circuit title.
The Nakuru-based side had an exceptional sevens campaign where they qualified for all semifinals in all the six circuit legs, and went on to appear in four finals, where they won the Prinsloo 7s in Nakuru.
They garnered 113 points overall, six points ahead of KCB who came in second with 107 points, with Strathmore and Homeboyz completing the top four with 100 and 90 points respectively.
Abukuse in Kenya Cup/7s
Abukuse, a Bungoma High School alumni, has been in fine form for the side, his midfield partnership brilliance with John Okoth helping the side reach their first ever Kenya Cup finals last season.
He carried that form to the shorter version of the game, where he was named in four (Christie, Prinsloo, Dala and Kakamega 7s) of the six legs circuit Dream Team. He was a pivotal figure for coach Gibu, his precision in attack, defence and kicking duties earning him the top point scorer award at the Kakamega Sevens.
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While speaking to The Scrummage Africa, Abukuse was full of praise for his coach, for instilling tactics and courage that he believes, carried them to the title.
“What worked out well for me was just executing what Coach Gibson Weru had tasked me to do
the turnovers, high balls, kicking duty and defence pattern. Being the first time in my life to play that stage after high school, am happy because everything was working accordingly. The courage that I have and the fighting spirit. The experience was good and am planning to do better,” he said.
On what has been his breakthrough season, a Kenya Cup final appearance and a National Sevens Circuit medal, Abukuse owed his performance to his passion for rugby and his coach for believing in him, insisting the journey doesn’t stop here, as they are targeting the Kenya Cup next season, and defending the circuit title.
“According to me, It is God’s given talent so I was utilising what God has given me. To add to that rugby plays a major role in my life, like paying school fees for studies. I will play for Menengai Oilers (next season) and defend this year’s titles. Coach Gibson Weru has also played a role in believing in me and giving me those many opportunities to play for Manengai oilers” he said.