Kenya Cup rugby league enters a crucial stage this weekend with three crunchy matches that could go either way on the cards in Nairobi.
At the KCB Sports Club on Saturday, Homeboyz will be out to end leaders Kenya Commercial Bank’s (KCB’s) unbeaten run in a potentially explosive match.
After an inspiring victory against Kenya Harlequin last weekend, Mwamba’s quest for a place in the play-offs is still on course as they seek yet another victory against Impala Saracens at Impala Sports Club.
Quins hope to bounce back from their 15-7 defeat at the hands of Mwamba last weekend with victory against Nakuru at the Nakuru Athletic Club.
In other matches, champions Kabras Sugar are out to sustain their winning ways when they host battered Strathmore Leos, who direly need a win after a winless run of five matches.
Hosts Nondescripts and Western Bulls are both seeking to bounce back from last weekend’s defeats as they face-off at Jamhuri Park show ground.
University of Nairobi’s Mean Machine are searching for their first victory of the season as they host Blak Blad from Kenyatta University in a varsities’ derby.
KCB were victors in their last two outings against Homeboyz. They claimed a 25-8 victory in Kenya Cup top six play-off last season and 28-19 in Impala Floodlit semi-final.
But will the Deejays dance to the Lions tune again?
Homeboyz have made three changes from the side that thrashed Mean Machine 38-0 last weekend ahead of the KCB duel. KCB tops the log with 50 points, from 10 wins and a draw.
Elisha Okello and Stanley Isogon have replaced Humphrey Mulama and Keith Wasike at back-row while Nelson Sangura comes in for the injured Jeff Oluoch at outside centre.
“Revenge is on our minds but we expect a tough match. We shall utilise our chances and minimise mistakes especially at the breakdowns,” said Homeboyz coach Paul Murunga.
In anticipation for a highly physical battle of forwards, the bankers have made four changes to their squad that crushed Strathmore Leos 50-15 last Saturday.
They have brought in Kenya Sevens skipper Andrew Amonde at eighth-man, replacing Rocky Anguko, while George Asin starts at hooking position in place of Peter Karia – who drops to the bench.
“These changes are purely tactical,” said KCB coach Curtis Olago, who has also replaced injured loose-head prop Oscar Simiyu and second-row Ian Indimuli with Moses Amusala and Nick Ongeri respectively.
“Our two previous victories won’t count hence we expect a highly physical match and only the side with discipline will carry the day,” said Olago.
Quins and Nakuru outwitted each other in their Kenya Cup outing last year. Nakuru claimed a comprehensive 43-14 victory before Quins turned the tables with a 22-5 win in the second leg.
Kenya Sevens backs Frank Wanyama and Eden Agero are back for Quins but the return of former Kenya 15s captain Wilson KO’pondo after almost two years for Quins II is what will hog the limelight.
“We expect a tough match but Nakuru will be out to uphold their winning form,” said Quins coach Dominique Habimana, who will come up against his former side.
Kabras Sugar v Strathmore Leos (4pm), Kakamega Showground
KCB v Homeboyz (4pm), KCB Sports Club
Nondescripts v Western Bulls (4pm), Jamhuri Park
Impala Saracens v Mwamba (4pm), Impala Club
Quins v Nakuru (4pm), RFUEA
Mean Machine v Blak Blad (4pm), UoN