NAIROBI, Kenya, January 6- Mwamba player-coach Tito Oduk is hoping for nothing short of vengeance when Impala come calling at the Nairobi Railways Club on Saturday.Oduk told Capital Sport on Thursday that poor preparation was the reason for their 64-5 loss to the Red shirts back in October and is leaving nothing to chance in the lead up to the crunch encounter.
“Last time our preparations were not up to scratch I must admit. I think we were still celebrating winning the circuit (National Sevens),” said the former international centre.
“This time round we’ve started our preparations early. We didn’t break over the December holidays, we did a lot of fitness and skill work. Come Saturday, its going to be a different ball game and a different team from what Impala met the last time round,” he added.
Since that shocking result, ‘Kulabu’ has won five out of six games including a 60-6 drubbing of arch rivals Mean Machine.
“It was a good wake up call because our pride took a battering and we really had to reconsider why we play this game. You can’t explain losing by 60 points to anyone. But we regrouped, beat KCB the following week and the self belief came back,” said Oduk.
Mwamba are currently third on the Kenya Cup standings and the match against Innocent Simiyu and company is just the beginning of a serious examination of their title credentials as they face the bankers and defending champions Kenya Harlequins on successive weekends.
“These games are really key. Minimum we have to win two out of three going into the remaining four games which aren’t any easier but are more winnable. I believe if we achieve that target, we’ll secure a top two place,” said the former Quins player.
Asked about the new season structure, Oduk said that more thought should have been put into it as the workload on players has increased dramatically.
“There’s a lot of rugby being played. After Kenya Cup we are heading into Enterprise Cup, Floodlits, Super Series and sevens, there’s no break and the bodies are taking a pounding. We’ll start singing that same song that we need to reduce the games like we hear from other countries and Kenya is heading there,” said Oduk.
“We need to start considering the number of matches players can play and structure the season in a way that players don’t suffer from burn out,” he added.
Kenya Cup Fixtures (Saturday, 8th October)
Strathmore v Quins (TBC)
Machine v KCB (University of Nairobi)
Mwamba v Impala (Nairobi Railway Club)
Nondies v Nakuru (Jamhuri Park)