NAIROBI, Kenya, September 4 – The Harlequins brand name may be in shreds in another part of the world but the local franchise will be focused on their next challenge when the Kenya Cup resumes on Saturday.
Edward Kinyany’s side hope to restore pride in the famous jersey and also secure a much needed victory against a star studded Mwamba side at the Rugby Football Union of East Africa (RFUEA) grounds.
Quins defence of their title has been punctuated by injuries to key players and losses most notably to arch rivals Impala and the shock 15-12 result to bottom side Mean Machine a fortnight ago.
Locking horns with a team that has the world’s best sevens player Collins Injera lurking on the wing, Lavin Asego as the orchestrator at flyhalf and George Mbaye ready to wreak havoc with ball in hand is the last thing Quins need especially when the league is approaching its business end.
The defending champions hope their own stars like Daniel Kiptoo, Jude Thumbi and Allan Onyango will use their experience to counter what the black shirts have to offer.
The duel between Injera and his national sevens team mate Sidney Ashioya should be one for the ages while Quins youngster Patrice Agunda will have his hands full with opposite number Humphrey Kayange in the centre channel.
Another crucial match up is between former champions Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and Nondiescripts.
Nondies secured a crucial victory in the last round by edging Nakuru 8-7 at Jamhuri park in the last round but will be up against when they head to the ‘Lions den’ in Ruaraka to take on the league leaders who beat Strathmore University 31-16 in their last match.
Impala host Machine at their Ngong road fortress where the likes and experience of Frank Ndong, Vincent Mose and Nato Simiyu should be too much for the college side.
Charles Ngovi’s outfit will have to do without backrow Paul Oimbo who is serving a two match ban for a red card he received against Mwamba
Strathmore who are coached by former Impala winger and international Mitch Ocholla head to Rift Valley to play Nakuru.