Rugby Rugby

Title, promotion battle on as Kenya Cup resumes

KCB George Gachure is tackled by Strathmore University’s Lucas Oppal during their season opening of the Kenya Cup. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

NAIROBI, KENYA, Jan 4- After a three-week festive period break, action across the Kenyan rugby leagues resume on January 13 with the top of the bill clash pitting defending Kenya Cup champions KCB and Homeboyz highlighting the weekend.

The bankers and the deejays as well as last year’s second best team Kabras Sugar are the only sides to have chalked up 100 percent records in the first four games of the season and they will be out to build on the early momentum as the league enters its home stretch, playoff qualification keen on their minds.

While KCB will welcome Homeboyz to the Lion’s Den, Kabras, third in the standings and only separated from the top by a point will be at their Kakamega bedrock tackling fourth placed Kenya Harlequins who are two points behind at fourth and have tasted defeat only once.

The chasing duo of Quins and Impala Saracens will not want to fall off the pace while Nakuru RFC, after a slow starter to the 2017/18 campaign, will be out to find some stability as they look to return to the playoffs after computations saw them miss out last season.

They will have to stave off the ambitions of Nondescripts, Blak Blad, Strathmore as well as a Mwamba side who will be out bounce back and fight to return to the playoffs for a second year in a row after a slow start this season that sees them sit second from bottom, winless from their opening four outings.

Mwamba have however found it tough to keep their feet on the ground, still searching for the first victory of the season after suffering four straight defeats. They are second from bottom in the standings with a single point.

The newly promoted duo of Kisii and Mombasa are also winless with Kisii perched at 10th with a sinlge point while Mombasa are at the basement with no point after four straight losses and conceding 211 points, the highest in the league.


Menengai Oilers head coach Gibson Weru during teh Driftwood Sevens in Mombasa on September 3, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Menengai Oilers held the advantage at the end of the year while former Kenya Cup sides Mean Machine, Western Bulls and USIU stayed in close proximity.

Oilers who lit up last year’s Sevens Circuit hope to do the same in the longer version of the game and gain Kenya Cup promotion.

Oilers have a 100 percent record after winning all their opening four games of the season, leading the log with 20 points, six ahead of second placed Machine who have however played a match less.

The Nakuru based side have lit up in a season where the more experienced second tier teams, Catholic Monks and Kisumu have struggled but hope to change the tide on the turn of the new year.

Kenya Cup Match Day 5

Kabras Sugar  v Kenya Harlequins – Kakamega Showground

Mwamba v Mombasa RFC-Railway Club

Impala Saracens v Kisii – Impala Club

Nakuru v Blak Blad – Nakuru Athletic Club

Nondescripts v Strathmore Leos – Jamhuri Park

KCB v Homeboyz – KCB Sports Club

Championship Match Day 5

Catholic v USIU – Catholic University – 4.00pm

Ngong v South Coast Pirates – Kibiko Secondary School – 4.00pm

JKUAT v Mean Machine – Juja – 4.00pm

Kisumu RFC v Moi University – Mamboleo Showground – 4.00pm

Egerton Wasps v UoE – Njoro – 4.00pm

Menengai Oilers v Western Bulls – Nakuru Showground – 4.00pm

-Additional info courtesy of Kenya Cup website