NAIROBI, Kenya, October 8 – The mercury is set to rise this Saturday when Impala head to the Rift Valley to face Nakuru in the semi finals of the Enterprise Cup.The defending champions sent a message of intent last weekend by thrashing Nondiescripts 24-7 at Nakuru Athletic Club which has been transformed into a fortress of late.
Impala will have tread carefully especially due the fact Nakuru will be seeking vengeance for their 14-13 loss to the red shirts in the penultimate week of the Kenya Cup.
Charles Ngovi’s team who clinched the Kenya Cup title a fortnight ago had to to graft through a 19-12 victory over University of Nairobi’s Mean Machine.
It will be some sort of a homecoming for Impala utility back Vincent Mose who spent most of his early playing days in Nakuru but will be well aware of the fact that his teammates will not be welcoming once battle commences.
The rest of the Impala back division once again should hold the keys to victory over Nakuru especially with former sevens captain Innocent Simiyu in good form and Peter Ocholla orchestrating the attack as he works his way back into contention for national colours.
The hosts have marquee players Gibson Weru and flyhalf Simon Wariuki as their drawcards who could set up a potential clash between Kenya Harlequins and Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) who meet in the other semi final.
That match at the Rugby Football Union of East Africa (RFUEA) grounds has all the makings of an explosive encounter going by the aggressive nature of both sides.
From the back row to the centres, Saturday’s encounter will be a gladiatorial battle. The airspace at the lineout will be a straight dogfight between KCB stalwart Allan Onyango and reliable Quins lock Lewis Olaka.
The side that retains the ball better and delivers quick ball to its backs will have a massive advantage in a match where territory will be as important as points.
Both scrumhalfs will be an integral part of their sides. Quins’ Jude Thumbi will renew his age old rivalry with Peter Mutai whose darting runs have been part of KCB’s success in the recent past.