Rugby Rugby

Mwamba out to ‘stop Kabras Sugar’s reggae’

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Mwamba RFC’s Tony Owuor with team-mates during their Kenya Cup match against Homeboyz. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 10 – Mwamba RFC will be playing their first Kenya Cup final in six years and coming up against regular season table toppers Kabras Sugar, the task is clearly drawn for them especially playing at a ground they have already lost in.

Kabras who have only lost once, to defending champions KCB in the regular season will host the semi at their famous ‘forest’ at the Kakamega Showground and will look to step into a third consecutive final against a side they beat 46-15 in the regular season.

Despite the odds stacked against them, coach Kevin Wambua sticks his head high and maintains confidence they have something within themselves to stop Kabras Sugar and sail to the final of the elite 15s championship in the country.

“We know it will be tough playing Kabras in their own turf. But, it’s a massive game for us. If you look at how we have been playing this season and also noting that it is the first time in six years we are in the semis, it has done some good for us in terms of mental preparedness and belief,”

Kabras Sugar’s Philip Wokarach prepares to boot in a conversion during their Kenya Cup clash against Kenya Harlequins at the RFUEA Ground on February 9, 2019. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

“Kabras is vulnerable; we have done our homework on them and it is all about who shows up better on the day and executes their plan to perfection,” Wambua stated looking ahead to the fixture.

Mwamba finished fifth in the regular season winning eight of their matches and losing the remaining eight. Kabras on their side finished top winning 15 and losing just one of their 16 games.

Wambua knows it will be tough against their hosts especially with the Fijian flavor they added into the team and the precision and prowess of Ugandan Philip Wokarach who has been phenomenal this campaign.

But even with the weight of the Kakamega based side’s pedigree, Wambua maintains they can try and exploit them on their soft under bellies to pull off a shock win at the Forest.

“This will be one physical match and for us to create a chance of competing we have to match them in all departments. They have big ball carriers and that means our defense has to be accurate and effective. They also have some silky backs and that means our backs should also match them,” Wambua noted.

He adds; “It’s all about trying to win all the small battles of the game especially on the collision arrears. We need to put them under pressure to make mistakes and once we get opportunities we need to go for the points.”

In the last five seasons, Kulabu has met Kabras in the league, on six occasions, winning once, drawing once and losing the rest.

The team has been boosted by the return of Billy Odhiambo from injury and this will be a massive boost for them ahead of this mouth-watering clash.

Collins Injera inb action against Nakuru RFC. PHOTO/Mwamba RFC

But even as they welcome Odhiambo back, one player who has stood them this season is Kenyan international Collins Injera, who just like fine wine has been getting better with age.

Injera who is the second best try scorer in World Rugby Sevens Series history sits top of this season’s try scoring charts having crossed the chalk 23 times, same as Kabras’ Wokarach.

Wambua has heaped praise on Injera who he says has been like an inspiration to the rest of the squad especially the younger players.

“Collins has been phenomenal. He’s done wonders in the national team and now he is doing it at club level. He is a role model and how he mentors guys is something great. Actually, the team draws energy from him and he is one of the best forms in his careers, this will be helpful for us,” Wambua added.

Meanwhile, in Nairobi, holders KCB will be up against Kenya Harlequins at the Lion’s Den in Ruaraka.

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