Homeboyz hope Driftwood show sparks season success

Menengai Cream Homeboyz RFC coach Paul Murunga reacts during their Kenya Cup match against SportPesa ...
Menengai Cream Homeboyz RFC coach Paul Murunga reacts during their Kenya Cup match against SportPesa Quins RFC at the Jamhuri Park in Nairobi on on January 14, 2017. Homeboyz RFC won 15-10. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com

Homeboyz Head Coach Paul Murunga believes their Main Cup victory in Mombasa at the Driftwood sevens will set the tone for the rest of the 2017 National Sevens Circuit season.

The Deejays triumphed over former champions Top Fry Nakuru 17-7 in a thrilling match at the opening round of this year’s local sevens series and have been seeded top for the next round that will be held in the capital Nairobi.

The Mombasa leg was an opportunity for the teams to shake off the cobwebs and to adjust to the abridged version of the game after a demanding fifteens season that culminated with KCB clinching both the Enterprise and Kenya Cups.

Homeboyz clinched the top plaudits in Mombasa replicating the same positive start they had in 2016.

“Last year we started by winning Prinsloo which was the first tournament and a repeat of that in Mombasa is good for us,” Murunga told Citizen Digital ahead of the Kabeberi sevens.

The defending series champions amassed 22 points after their Coastal tour and lay the marker for the rest of the season.

“Now what we need to do is to make sure that we win the next four tournaments so that we can make it to the finals, that requires a lot of depth with enough players that are able to play at that level, ”Murunga the former Kenya sevens assistant coach said as the team departed for Nairobi on Monday.

Three Homeboyz players Charles Omondi, Kenya sevens playmaker Leonard Mugaisi, and former international Jeff Oluoch made the team of the tournament with the Djs attacking set up revolving around the trio.

Teams converge in Nairobi on September 9 and 10 for the George Mwangi Kabeberi memorial sevens as the hosts Mwamba RFC, who bagged the Challenge trophy in Mombasa keen to win their home tournament.

In 2016, Homeboyz lost to Impala Saracens in a thrilling cup final that was decided after sudden death.

“Last year we did not win the Kabeberi circuit but this year with the type of players that I have I hope shall be able to win.”

The new World Rugby laws on offside touch play and cynical offenses were trialed during the Driftwood sevens to ensure fair play and maintain the game’s momentum.

“A lot of rules have changed in terms of contact and players need to understand them. We shall play by the rules and just make sure that we do not concede a lot of penalties. If the players are able to adjust to the new rules early enough it will be good for us. The matches will be of technical approach than physical,” Murunga underscored.

The George Mwangi Kabeberi Memorial Sevens, popularly known as the Kabeberi Sevens, was first played in 1986 to commemorate the passing away of the  George Mwangi Kabeberi, one of the founding members of the Mwamba club.

Over the years, the significance of the tournament has been expanded to honour departed club members, including recently departed Leeroy Okara, Absalom “Bimbo” Mutere, Kenya Lionesses captain Aberdeen Shikoyi, and Jimmy Owino among others.

The 2017 edition will  be played on the September 8-9 at the RFUEA Grounds in Nairobi.

-Additional reporting by Bernard Ndong.

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