Saturday 2 June 2012 sees the curtains fall on the 10th edition of the Bamburi Rugby Super Series. Even before center referee Andre Karani blows his whistle at 4.00pm to kick off the championship match between defending champions UAP Rhinos and first time finalists Dimension Data Rwenzori, history has already been re-written. The UAP Rhinos, already the most successful side in the tournament’s history,continue to set standards, this time round, qualifying for a sixth straight final since 2007. They head into Saturday’s match looking to claim a sixth overall title, and a fourth in succession since 2009.
As mentioned earlier, history has already been re-written, and Uganda’s Dimension Data Rwenzori are part of the equation. They played against the Mumias Sugar Buffaloes in the first ever Bamburi Rugby Super Series match to be televised live from Uganda, they also played in the first ever tournament semi final to be played outside Nairobi and are the first ever Ugandan side to reach the Bamburi Rugby Super Series championship match, popularly refered to as the final. Can they become the first Ugandan side to lift the title?
Well, Rwenzori are taking nothing to chance, opting to take the 45 minute flight to Nairobi, foregoing the +10 hour bus ride from Kampala as they seek to be fresh, avoid the effects of bus lag (if there exists such a term) and take the fight to the defending champions Rhinos. They will rely on among others, Anthony Kinene, Steve Ogwete, Marvin Odongo to lead their quest for glory.
Their opponents on Saturday, the UAP Rhinos are certainly no slouches. They have shown their pedigree by wriggling out of tricky situations to carry the day, case in point, the 25-18 match day three win over the Mumias Sugar Buffaloes where they threw away a 10-0 lead, trailed 15-18 before regrouping to win that fixture 25-18. They would again show their grit when, after racing to a 15-5 lead against the Lions in last weekend’s semi final in Nairobi, they found themselves trailing 15-19 with precious little left on the ticker before Wilson Kopondo’s try and their steely resolve saw them knick that match 20-19, securing passage to the final.
This match is no doubt bound to be filled with all the thrills and spills worthy of a final. There is so much to play for other than the title. For the Rhinos, it is an opportunity to avenge the 17-15 loss to Rwenzori on match day two in Kampala while the Ugandans be out to prove that their win against the Rhinos was not a fluke.
This match will be preceded by the third and fourth playoff match between the Lions and SDV Transami Cheetahs from 1.30pm.
Gates open at 12pm
Charges: Ksh 300 for adults
Ksh 100 for supervized students in uniform