What’s happening to once classy Mwamba?
Recent poor results by Mwamba RFC in the Kenya Cup and National Sevens Circuit has left fans of the once dreaded club questioning the quality of players.
Last year Mwamba started the circuit well, reaching the finals in Kisumu and in the Kabeberi Sevens. But they faded out in Nakuru and Mombasa. The free fall reached the peak during the Christie 7s where they had to drag in an unfit and unregistered Richard Nyakwaka to play for them, leading to their disqualification.
In the Kenya Cup, they’ve had a roller coaster, going down to minnows Western Bulls, struggling to beat Mean Machine but had a surprise win over defending champions Nakuru RFC. In the Enterprise Cup, they were shocked by a young and gritty Impala.
That notwithstanding, fans have had to deal with the embarrassment of watching the Black Shirts go down to small teams such as Kabras twice, and KCA University at the recently concluded Nakuru 10-a-side.
What’s ailing the premier indigenous rugby club in Kenya? Pundits say it relies heavily on a group of national team players, yet they are away most of the time. Over dependence on 7s players Collins Injera, Humphrey Kayange, Horace Otieno, Dennis Ombachi and Michael Agevi is the club’s Achilles heel.
In their absence, Mwamba lacks quality and depth to compete favourably with other teams. We’ve seen players such as Brian Kivasia, Felix Ojoo, Kevin Atandi and Shaban Ahmed trying to impress but they fall short they’re needed most.
In the forward line, ever green Salaton Muturi and ferocious Joseph Oriwo try to marshal a young and inexperienced pack but their individual brilliance is not good enough.
Mwamba’s lack of quality players was so glaring that they had to turn to the former Kenya 7s prop George Mbaye, well past his prime and struggling in fitness to shore up their lines.
We’ve had players such as Victor Mattfiled and Shalck Burger crawling out of retirement to help Bulls and Sharks, but that was because first choice players were unavailable due to injuries. At Mwamba, the available players are simply not good enough!
The club is sponsored by Mumias Sugar through their water brand Sprinkles and a strength-boosting supplement USN.
The money given through sponsorship should be used to attract players.