Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bamburi Rugby Super Series Final Preview

Held annually since 2003, the history of the Bamburi Rugby Super
Series speaks for itself. No franchise has managed a successful title
defence.Saturday afternoon sets the stage for the 8th final that will
be played out between defending champions UAP Rhinos, and challengers
SDV Transami Cheetahs at Nairobi's RFUEA grounds from 4.00pm
Can the Rhinos re-write history by becoming the first franchise to
successfully defend the title? 2010 is an evenly numbered year and
looking back at their previous title wins in 2004 and 2006, can the
Cheetahs win it in their favored even years?

The Cheetahs have not been in the final since their 2006 triumph but
it is important to note that they have a 75% success rate in BRSS
finals. Sample this; they were runners up to the Rhinos in 2003,
before winning it in '04 and '06. Cheetahs captain Mike Aung will be
out to ensure his side's success on Saturday.

On the other hand, the Rhinos have been arguably the most successful
team in the BRSS with three titles, one more than their closest rivals
and opponents in Saturday's final, the Cheetahs. Edward Kinyany's side
has won two of the last three titles. This year sees them in their
fourth successive final.

Both teams are evenly matched heading into Saturday's final. The
Rhinos have three titles under their belt (2003, 2007 and 2009) while
the Cheetahs have two titles (2004 and 2006). Their paths to final
have been similar, if not identical, something that can also be said
about their styles of play. Even their try counts hardly set them
apart, the Rhinos have scored 20 tries, averaging 34 points per match
with the Cheetahs touching down 23 times, averaging 39 points per
match. They went unbeaten in round robin play, topping their
respective pools. The Rhinos booked their berth in the final with a
17-5 win over the Lions while the Cheetahs beat Victoria 20-3 to book
a date with the Rhinos.

Both sides have a sprinkling of former and current Kenya sevens and
fifteens internationals and their influence has been immense.

Saturday's final promises to a classic spectacle. Despite the sheer
class that will be on display on Saturday when the likes of Frank
Ndong, Vincent Ongera, Mike Aung, Tony Mutai, Ben Nyambu, Allan
Onyango, Kelvin Omiyo, Peter Abuoga, Nato Simiyu and Sidney Ashioya
step out onto the RFUEA turf, the side that shows strength of
character and has the ability to adjust will run off with the 2010
Bamburi Rugby Super Series title.

This match will be preceded by the third place playoff pitting
Uganda's Kampala Coach Victoria against the Lions from 2.00pm.

The Kenya women's national team will face off with their Ugandan
counterparts in an international friendly at the same venue in 12.00pm
kickoff. These two sides met on Saturday 8th May when Kenya were
minutes away from a historic win in Kampala before conceding two late
tries that saw the match end in a 10-10 draw.

*This article is dedicated to Joshua Gathumbi who lit up the lives of
many. RIP Josh

Michael Kwambo
Tournament Media Manager
Bamburi Rugby Super Series 2010
"the future of fifteens rugby"
+254 722 757 299

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