Cheetahs braced for rampaging Rhinos

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NAIROBI, Kenya, May 21-Reigning champions UAP Rhinos will be looking to clinch their fourth Bamburi Super Series crown when they face SDV Transami Cheetahs in the 2010 final at the Rugby Football Union of East Africa (RFUEA) grounds on Saturday.

The Rhinos-winners in 2003, 2007 and 2009, overcame Lions 17-5 in a hard-fought semifinal last weekend and start as favourites against a Cheetahs side that had a relatively straightforward 20-3 win over Uganda franchise Victoria 20-3.

But having qualified for their first final since 2006, Charles Ngovi’s men will feel they have a chance of stopping the Rhinos from becoming only the second team to ever successfully defend the Super Series crown.

The match will be played in a sombre mood following the death of Nguvu Sharks and Kenya Sevens utility back Joshua Gathumbi on Tuesday last week just eight days after scoring a brilliant try for his side in a 30-20 loss to Cheetahs.

Saturday’s match up pits together two teams who deploy contrasting styles with the Rhinos using their imperious forwards to set up their attacks while the cats like to move the ball around and thrive on broken play.

Both teams will be missing key players who are away with the sevens squad with the Cheetahs having to make do without the original centre combination Innocent Simiyu and Brian Nyikuli while the Rhinos are without Victor Sudi, Leon Adongo and Dennis Muhanji.

The Cheetahs front row of Frank Ndong, Nzioka Muema and Lawrence Terer face their toughest test of the tournament when they lock horns with a Rhino international front row of Daniel Kiptoo, Vincent Ongera and Joel Nganga.

Cheetahs though have a knack of creating tries out of nothing with Mose, Simiyu and Bobby Oyugi the main architects with backrowers Paul Oimbo and Kevin Umbuge in close support to provide extra pairs of hands.

For Rhinos, former Kenya sevens winger Peter Abuoga who last week scored a contender for try of the tournament will be the main go to man out wide.

The back row clash between Rhino’s Jeff Ojwach, David Mogere and Tony Mutai and Cheetah’s Ben Nyambu, Umbuge and Oimbo is expected to be one for the ages with heavy collisions expected at the set pieces.

Cheetahs captain Mike Aung is expected to dominate the RFUEA airspace but the aerial dogfight with Rhino’s Jared Owinyo should make interesting viewing.
 

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