Rugby Rugby

KCB eyes Kenya Cup defense after Floodies 

Kenya Commercial Bank captain Curtis Lilako and his assistant Darwin Mukidza lead teammates in celebrating their 2017-18 Kenya Cup win against Kabras Sugar at the Lion’s Den on March 24, 2018. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 31 – Having successfully defended their Impala Floodies title last weekend with a slim 20-18 win over hosts Impala Saracens, KCB Rugby Club have shifted gears quickly to the Kenya Cup title defense which begins on November 17 with a home tie against promoted Menengai Oilers.

KCB successfully defended their Kenya Cup title last season beating perennial rivals Kabras Sugar in the final and have started the new campaign on a high, retaining their Floodies crown.

Assistant coach Dennis Mwanja is optimistic the confidence they have picked will spur them heading into the new campaign.

“This (Floodies) is just a build up for the league and it gives us the necessary confidence heading in. We have a lot of work to do as we have witnessed. There are many arears we still need to polish on and we cannot get complacent after this,” Mwanja said.

“Kenya Cup is a long journey where you have to plan a match at a time from the regular season and into the play off. The tactics are very different in each game and we need to go a step at a time,” the coach also pointed out.

-Tough competition-

KCB RFC hooker Griffin Musila is tackled by Homeboyz’s Charles Omondi. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

He expects tougher competition from the top six sides heading into the regular season, saying they are under pressure to keep the winning momentum.

“All teams have regrouped very well and made good signings. We have a lot of pressure from within and out, but what I am happy about is that we can handle that pressure. The self drive in the team is what makes us who we are and everybody is raring to go,” further stated the Mwanja.

Mwanja also believes the team’s depth will come in handy for them during the season saying everyone has put up their hands and is ready to play whenever called upon.

“We have been without several national team players and we have still done well in this tournament. When they come, they have to work to get their places back but still they have that quality to do so. That shows just how much depth we have in the team,” added the assistant coach.

-Floodies title win-

KCB players celebrate with the trophy after winning the 2018 Impala Floodies on October 26, 20148. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

Looking back at a dramatic Floodies final against Impala, Mwanja lauded the team’s never die spirit for the win, saying they fought hard for it.

“Coming into the final, we had an aspect of pressure because of the much hyped trip to South Africa. But the boys took in the pressure and it was a tough game since Impala are also worthy opponents. We worked hard to win the game,” he said.

“We have an X-factor in the team where there’s a very strong killer instinct. We have it in the team that we need to fight until the final whistle and it paid off.”