Well, it's a nice tittle for a post, but the way we got there was courtesy of a second walk-over win against Pwani University. Really? You ask, a walk over win in the playoffs? Yes. Even better, Pwani University is a 45 minute drive from Malindi's ground and one better still, the first walkover was on Pwani's own ground. Yes, we showed up and they only mustered 5 players so we played 10 aside!
The icing on the cake? Well, Malindi enters this semi-final having only played one game in the whole tournament, and the only game we played we won! It was against South Coast pirates our sister club, who by the way won all of their other games. So you wonder, how many walkovers are there? Well, I haven't counted the score sheets but a lot. And it is a real problem. Enough to say just throw the league out the window. Really there are only 4 teams that honour any games, South Coast, TUM, Spartans (which essentially is the only club that the union sponsors) and Malindi RFC, which to be fare didn't make it to all of their away games this year.
What's to be done? Well, I'd propose that the union could go back to what worked. The travel subsidies! Why, just have some rugby played is all. I reckon that if the union put in KES5000 per game (that's like 60 bucks) that is not involving two teams in the same town/city and said two walkovers means your out of the league for a year, they would have no walk overs.
What do you say Tank?
It would mean a lot more guys playing a lot more rugby and in a 7 team format (remove Voi and Kilifi sultans who I don't believe honoured a match) and the whole thing would cost you a whopping 95 thousand shillings. Guys, seriously, probably equivalent to the five balls you gave all the teams and much more rugby. What is the priority?
The other thing and I've seen it with Malindi, is after 3 walkovers/postponments in a row, it's hard to get guys to come to the next game and even harder to get them to the pitch to train. Seriously, the way things are going now is brining everyone down.
The other thing I would do is move the games up to start in late September. The Uni teams all have to balk on their games starting in Mid november which as it stands now is the heart of the season. Also, if you put in the two walkovers and you're out rule, and voiced it very clearly at the beginning of the season, people would take it seriously (maybe?).
And now I'm throwing something out there... how about getting your big ticket sponsors to chip in for the small fish clubs? I keep hearing that we should get our own sponsorship, but especially now on the coast, that isn't going to happen anytime soon. Want to grow your game outside of Nairobi? Want kids to grow up loving rugby so that they'll watch rugby games whose adverts will pay for your world cup team? Better get cracking guys!