Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bamburi Rugby Super Series Match Day Three Preview

Its Bamburi Rugby Super Series match day three in venues scattered across the East African landscape. The weekend rugby menu will ensure that rugby fanatics in Nairobi, Nakuru, Kampala and Arusha are well served with four first class matches from which to earn a crust. First up on Saturday, it's Nguvu Sharks desperate battle for semi final qualification that has attracted the attention of the Supersport producers, prompting them to pitch tent at the RFUEA with the express aim of airing this match live on Saturday 8th May 2010 from 4.00pm. So crucial is this fixture that terrestrial broadcaster K24 have called in analysts to decipher the tactics to be applied on the day, they will also be showing it live.

The Sharks 12-20 loss to the Lions at the RFUEA on match day two has nicely turned the screw on them ahead of this must win pool A encounter against the already qualified SDV Transami Cheetahs. They lie second in this pool on five points, five points adrift of the Cheetahs and just a point ahead of the Lions. It's an extremely uncomfortable situation to be in, as they are forced to go all out for victory against a Cheetahs side that has plundered 109 points in two fixtures, 52 of these points coming against worthy adversaries in the form of the Lions.

Sharks had a fair share of possession last time out against a resilient Lions, failing to utilize the many chances that came their way. The 12-20 score line barely did them justice, sadly such is the nature of sport, there must be a winner and a loser. The task at hand is to conquer the high flying Cheetahs, to turn possession in points, to win the game. Coach Mitch Ocholla will be counting on the likes of Ken Andola, Duncan Ekasi, George Odipo and Biko Adema to rise to the occasion and secure a third successive semi final appearance.

 In contrast, Charles Ngovi's Cheetahs had a stroll in the park against home side Bank M Twigas, taking a 16-0 lead into the breather before exploding in the second half, running off 57-0 winners in Arusha.  They have had it relatively easy in their opening two fixtures and the great white test is theoretically their hardest fixture yet…that is if they opt to field a full strength side…remember…they are all but through to the semi finals and have the luxury of resting key players….

The Lions recovered from their schizophrenic display in the massive 17-52 loss to the Cheetahs on match day one, grinding out a 20-12 win against the Sharks on match day two. They find themselves in the same predicament as the Sharks, semi final chances hanging on a string. They travel to Arusha to take on the tournament's whipping boys Bank M Twigas who have conceded 136 points while scoring only 3 in their two fixtures. Howard Okwembah knows the importance of victory and will be out to pile as many points as possible against the Tanzanians and hope that results from Nairobi are favourable enough to grant the Lions a semi final berth.

Pool B

Edward Kinyany's UAP Rhinos, the reigning BRSS champions travelled to Kampala where they did the improbable…showing great strength of character in rallying from 16-22 at half time to beat home side Rwenzori 23-22..staying unbeaten after match day two. This result saw the Rhinos book a semi final berth with one game to spare while Rwenzori's competitive interest in the 2010 BRSS was laid to rest by way of their second successive defeat…the first having come at the hands of local rivals Victoria who beat them 16-13 on match day one. Rhinos' Peter Abuoga ,who according to respected Ugandan rugby website "run opponents rugged, attacked the gain line and kicked impressively " should again feature prominently in this tie.

Victoria have made their presence felt in this years' event, stunning the fancied Rwenzori 16-13 in the Ugandan derby on Tuesday 27th April 2010 before registering a routine 26-3 win over the Mumias Sugar Buffaloes in Mumias on Saturday 1st May 2010. They are on a roll and would like to keep the momentum going with victory over the Rhinos. Gamma Faizal, Joel Kimuli and Timothy Ddumba are just some of the charges at coach Sam Ahamya's disposal. This fixture surely looks like the fixture of the weekend. It kicks off at the Nakuru Athletic Club on Saturday 8th May 2010 from 4.00pm

Two eliminated sides Rwenzori and Mumias Sugar Buffaloes face off in Kampala in the day's other pool B fixture. Ham Onsando's side has had a tournament to forget, losing their opening fixtures against Victoria and Rhinos and would like to end it on a high against a Buffaloes side that has endured some steep learning curves, losing 0-61 to the Rhinos on match day one before going down 3-26 to Victoria on match day two.  This match kicks off at 5.00pm at the Kampala RUFC grounds.

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

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