Using his team as an example, said the tournament has offered encouraging signals of what lies ahead for the good of the game
•Samurai drew 5-5 with Tanqueray in the final of the Chairman’s Cup
•Nzomo says beginners have impressed at the January tournament
•Tanqueray were crowned winners of the season-ending Chairman’s Cup
Samurai polo team captain Raphael Nzomo says the performance of beginner polo players at the season-ending Chairman’s Cup is symbolic of the improving standards of the game in the country.
Nzomo led a young team comprised of his daughter, Hiromi Nzomo, Izzy Stichbury, and Eva Kamau to a 5-5 draw against Tanqueray in a pulsating encounter on Sunday afternoon at the Nairobi Polo Club.
Using his team as an example, Nzomo said the tournament has offered encouraging signals of what lies ahead for the good of the game.
“January tournaments are for beginners to garner some experience. Every team has one or two beginners. For five goals to be scored, it shows that they have played really well. It was very surprising for me,” Nzomo, also the chair of Nairobi Polo Club said.
Nzomo also earmarked Radio Africa’s Archie Camm as one to look out for in the future, describing the 12-year-old as one who is already mature beyond his years.
“What a kid! He is only 12-years-old and is going to be one of the best polo players in this country. If you see him playing…there was a bit of debate about bringing him to the game at that age. He knows all the rules, does not foul, rides hard, and hits the ball well,” he said.
Turning his attention to the game, Nzomo admitted it was a ‘grudge match’ in which his mentor, Philip Arunga of Tanqueray, was keen to exert revenge on them after Samurai won last weekend’s duel between the two sides.
“Last weekend we played pretty much the same team and we beat them. My former chairman (Arunga) was out to beat me this time. I must say he had the better team so we had our work cut out. I am happy that we managed to hold him,” Nzomo said.
He added: “Even the horses are athletes and they can’t compete in such hot weather. If it were cooler then it would have been more appropriate but there are other players who come from outside Nairobi and so needed to go early to prepare for work.”
Following the deadlocked final, Tanqueray were crowned winners by consensus as both teams opted against going to penalties.
Nzomo, Hiromi, and Stichbury were scorers for Samurai as Arunga, Miranda Romjin and Louis Roumequere got on the scoreboard for the opposite team.
In other matches of the afternoon, Radio Africa overcame Ultimate Security 3½-1 as Jacaranda and 24:7 drew 6-6.
Radio Africa also defeated Tusker Malt 3½-1 as the brewers also beat Ultimate Security 1½-1.