Its getting tough and hot in the Kenya Cup battle with clubs fighting for playoff slots and others relegation,
Nakuru is usually sweltering hot this time of year and that heat will most probably be replicated in Saturday’s Kenya Cup match when playoff chasing Top Fry Nakuru, currently sixth on the log, face league leaders Menengai Cream Homeboyz who are yet to lose a match in 2017. Nakuru, champions in 2013 and 2014 badly need the win, and will have to turn up the heat (pun intended) and disrupt the rhythm of the deejays if they are to win and stay in contention for the playoffs.
As mentioned earlier, the deejays are yet to drop a single match in 2017, turning up and emerging victorious in all their outings since the league’s resumption on 14 January. The National Sevens Series champions have seemingly carried that form to the longer version of the game and have already slayed the other teams in the top five including champions Kabras Sugar, KCB, SportPesa Quins and Resolution Impala Saracens as they seek to reach a first ever Kenya Cup semifinal and eventually challenge for the overall trophy.
Second placed SportPesa Quins host third placed KCB in an equally hot encounter at the RFUEA Ground. Temperatures in Nairobi are expected to hit a high of 30 degrees celsius on Saturday, (that’s hot) and action on the pitch is equally expected to be blazing hot, the quest for a top two finish and automatic home semifinal advantage lingering on the minds of both teams. So finely poised is this fixture that the winner could actually go top of the summit heading into the final round of action, although this is dependent on the result of the Nakuru- Homeboyz clash at the NAC.
Champions Kabras Sugar sitting fifth on the log welcome fourth placed Resolution Impala Saracens to the Kakamega Showground on Saturday. The two sides had contrasting results last weekend, Kabras falling to a rare home defeat, losing 13-19 to SportPesa Quins while Resolution Impala Saracens pulled off what is now a familiar and routine outcome against KCB, winning 27-24 at the Impala Club.
Strathmore Leos, are by their standards going through a tough campaign, already out of the playoffs and dwelling in the league’s lower reaches, they host seventh placed Mwamba RFC at the Jamhuri Pakr. Mwama are as keen and as hungry as ever for the sixth and final playoff slot. The Leos were vanquished last weekend by cellar dwellers Mean Machine who posted a 26-5 bonus point win while Mwamba registered a 33-0 shut out of Nondescript. The Leos badly need the win to boosting their waning confidence, probably even give them the momentum to finish strongly and carry that form into the Enterprise Cup while Mwamba must keep winning while hoping that Nakuru falter.
It’s not only hot at the top of the log, there is plenty of heat and lots to play for in the league’s lower reaches. Western Bulls, currently placed tenth on the log, are at home to eleventh placed Blak Blad at The Bull Ring in Kakamega. This is a do or die clash for both sides. Bulls badly need the win to stay just above the relegation zone, but so do Blad, for the same reasons advanced in this sentence.
Mean Machine have lately been operating like the efficient machine from the days of yore, wins over Blak Blad (16-10) and Strathmore Leos (26-5) coupled with that close 15-17 loss to Quins still see them sit twelfth and bottom of the log, but the chance of surviving the chop. To achieve this, they must overcome their hosts Nondescripts who lie eighth on the log, out of playoff contention and safe from the chop.
Collated Match Day 16 Fixtures
Kabras Sugar v Resolution Impala Saracens – 4.00pm, Kakamega Showground, Kakamega
SportPesa Quins v KCB – 4.00pm, RFUEA, Nairobi – Live on Zuku Sports
Top Fry Nakuru v Menengai Cream Homeboyz – 4.00pm, Nakuru Athletic Club
Strathmore Leos v Mwamba – 2.00pm, Jamhuri Park
Western Bulls v Blak Blad – 4.00pm, The Bull Ring, Kakamega
Nondescripts v Mean Machine – 4.00pm, Jamhuri Park, Nairobi
Meanwhile, another weekend, another round of matches in the KRU Championship with the league firmly in it’s business end, promotion and relegation thoughts on the minds of teams and their tacticians.
Leaders Resolution Kisii, already assured of a playoff berth are at home to bottom of the table JKUAT Cougars at the Gusii Stadium in Kisii Town, seeking to finish in the top two, while second placed Catholic Monks, also seeking a top two finish, play away to Kisumu RFC at the Mamboleo Showground in Kisumu City. The University of Eldoret Trojans host Thika RFC in Eldoret with third placed USIU hosting Mombasa RFC at the USIU Grounds.
Resolution Kisii v JKUAT Cougars – 4.00pm, Gusii Stadium, Kisii
Kisumu v Catholic Monks – 4.00pm, Mamboleo Showground, Kisumu
UoE Trojans v Thika RFC – 4.00pm, UoE, Eldoret
USIU v Mombasa RFC – 4.00pm, USIU
It’s semifinal Saturday in the Nationwide Nairobi Region. MKU Nairobi battle it out with Community Rugby Association (Comras) while the Technical University of Kenya are up against Ngong RFC. The venues for both fixtures were yet to be confirmed at the time of preparing this article.
MKU Thika are up against fellow varsity side Karatina University at the Happy Valley in Thika as Nanyuki Jackals host high flying Embu RFC at the Nanyuki Sports Club. Second placed Kiambu host Zetech while Dedan Kimathi University travel to Murang’a for their match against Murang’a RFC. All matches kick off at 3:00PM.
Rift Valley Region
North Rift region holds two matches as it enters week 17. KPA Eldoret will host Eldoret Falcons at the Moi University West Campus as Eldoret RFC play Kitale RFC at the Moi Annex School of Law. Other fixtures see Kericho host Kabarak at the Kericho Stadium, leaders Menengai Oilers travel to Molo stadium for a clash against Molo RFC while Egerton University host Nakuru KITI. All matches in the Rift Valley Region will kick off at 3:00PM in their respective venues.
Western Region holds a single fixture pitting Webuye RFC against Shieywe RFC at 3:00PM at the D.E.B Webuye High School.
Taita Taveta University play Technical University of Mombasa at 2:00PM at St. Georges Kaloleni preceding the match between Shepherds RFC and Malindi that will be at the same venue slated to kick off at 4:00PM.
The region’s second double header takes place at the Wundanyi Stadium where Spartans are up against Pwani Sharks in the 2:00PM kickoff, curtain raising for the Shoxxs RFC Taita-Coast Raiders match at 4:00PM.
Source: Kenya Rugby