Kenyan politician Nick Salat recently remarked, “ Tuko ndani kabisa…ndani..ndani…ndani..” which loosely translated from Swahili means, “ We are inside…”
Well, Mwamba RFC can use that phrase to describe their qualification to the Kenya Cup Top Six playoffs despite an 18-25 loss to KCB at the KCB Sports Club in Ruaraka. They are inside the top six…They are through to the playoffs in dramatic fashion similar to Mr. Salat’s vocal intonations as he delivered his now famous and viral phrase.
Kulabu went into this fixture sitting sixth,on 46 points and occupying the final playoff slot. They needed to beat KCB or garner a bonus point while hoping that seventh placed Top Fry Nakuru, three points adrift on 43 either lost to Mean Machine or won without a bonus point. The latter did happen in Nakuru, the Wanyore denied a bonus point as they won 21-12 against a dogged and determined Mean Machine side.
Over at Ruaraka, Mwamba trailed 25-13 with precious little left on the ticker, probably sensing that while the game was beyond their reach but the playoffs were certainly within sniffing distance, they took the game to the bankers, Greg Odhiambo touching down for probably the most important try yet of his fledging rugby career.George Mutuku missed the conversion but it didn’t matter, the scoreboard reading 25-18 to KCB and the general public, but to the pundit a seven point margin that handed Mwamba a bonus point. They spent the final five or so minutes defending and were full of elation as the full time whistle sounded, a return to the playoffs for the first time since the 2012/13 season.
Spare a thought for Nakuru though, back to back champions in 2013 and 2014, out of the playoffs for the first time since those heady days. They won their final fixture, they needed to and did what was expected of them. Their efforts, at the end of the day, counted for nothing. There will be lessons learnt, experiences to be recounted but top of their mind is bouncing back to dominance.