NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 21 – The Lion’s Den in Ruaraka will on Saturday host the mother of all battles as home side KCB squares it out with defending champions Kabras in the final of the 2016/2017 Kenya Cup, a repeat of the 2015 final which KCB won.
The Bankers, four time champions of the Kenya Cup with their last title coming in 2015 earned the hosting rights by virtue of being the highest seeded side to reach the championship.
KCB finished second at the close of the round robin phase of the league, earning direct semifinal qualification. They would then edge out Kenya Harlequins 19-12 in a close contest at Ruaraka on April 8 to qualify for the final as they seek a fifth title.
Defending champions Kabras took the longer, probably more scenic route to the final. A fifth place finish at the close of the round robin phase saw them paired away to Impala Saracens in what was a repeat of last year’s final.
The holders went on to win 21-18, setting up a semifinal date against form team Homeboyz where they worked hard to overturn a 0-17 deficit, tying the game 17-17 at the close of regulation time before winning it in extra time, the 22-17 result setting up the date with KCB.
The two sides have met on five previous occasions since Kabras’ debut in the 2014/15 season. The sugarmen have drawn one and lost four of their previous Kenya Cup outings against KCB, including the 2015 final which ended 27-3 in favor of the bankers.
Heading into Saturday evening’s final, Kabras are eager to get the monkey off their backs seeking a first time ever win against the bankers while KCB will on the other hand look to maintain their dominance over Kabras.
KCB head coach Curtis Olago who coincidentally played alongside his Kabras counterpart Anthony Ogot at KCB nine years ago believes it will be a tough encounter but says his boys are ready for the challenge.
“It is now all about heart, bringing all we have done to the season into one game. It will be tough against Kabras. We have played them severally and they are not predictable. They keep changing their game plans. We also don’t want to be predictable; it is a final and anything goes, everything goes,” the coach noted.
They will be boosted by the availability of Andrew Amonde who missed the semi-final as he was out on duty with the Kenya Sevens team and his experience is expected to anchor the side to victory.
Kabras who have never been out of the top two since their promotion into the top tier will also have Ugandan international Philip Wokarach back from Sevens duty with the Rugby Cranes as well as Dan Sikuta.