Saturday 3 March 2012 brings more action in what has been an intriguing Kenya Cup season thus far. The league’s leadership had since match day one on Saturday 26 November 2011 rotated between Strathmore Leos, Mwamba, KCB and Nakuru in no particular order, before defending champions Lunch Bar Quins finally climbed to the summit for the first time this season with a 17-3 win over the Leos in a midweek clash on Wednesday 29 February 2012.
We preview the weekend fixtures
Lunch Bar Quins (1) v Strathmore Leos (3) – RFUEA Grounds
The defending champions extended their winning streak to seven matches in a row after beating the Leos 17-3 in a tight midweek encounter that was initially scheduled for December 2011 but postponed due to Strath’s involvement at the KUSA games, a result that saw them lead the Kenya Cup for the first time this season. With these sides meeting in the return leg at the RFUEA, venue of the first leg tie, Kenya Cup pole position will be key on their minds. For Quins, they will seek to complete the season’s double over their visitors, thus consolidating their stranglehold on the league’s top spot. The Leos will come into this one seeking to bounce back from Wednesday’s result where they were within touching distance of top slot before their nerves gave in.
Nakuru RFC (2) v Impala RFC (6) – Nakuru Athletic Club
Nakuru RFC are unbeaten at home this season, boasting a 100% record from their four fixtures on the Nakuru Athletic Club’s rugby pitch. They led the Kenya Cup for close to 100 hours leading up to 1800hrs on Wednesday 29 February. They are two points behind leaders Quins and know that victory is imperative for them to either return to the summit or stay in the hunt for a maiden Kenya Cup title. Their opponents on Saturday are Impala RFC, a side that they defeated 22-18 in the first leg fixture, a side that went down to a 0-38 defeat to Nondies on match day twelve. With ex-Nakuru players Lawi Buyachi and Vincent Mose in their ranks,Impala will look to bounce back against Nakuru and this makes for a potentially explosive encounter.
Nondescript RUFC (7) v KCB (4) – Jamhuri Showground
If Nondies form over the past two weekends is anything to go by, then their weekend encounter against KCB is bound to be an action packed one. The Red Lion beat Mwamba 23-12 on match day eleven before delivering a 38-0 result over Impala last weekend. They will surely have faith and belief in their capabilities as they play host to the Lions from Ruaraka who went into last weekend’s fixtures leading the league standings but slipped to fourth after succumbing to a 17-10 defeat at the hands of Strathmore. KCB were 25-15 winners when the two sides met in the first leg encounter.
Mwamba RFC (5) v Kisumu RFC (9) – Impala Club
Two successive losses have seen Mwamba RFC drop out of the league’s top four. This match against Kisumu RFC coupled with results from the other fixtures involving the league’s leading quartet will be pivotal in determining Mwamba’s credentials for the league title. A big win over a side they beat 64-8 in the first leg fixture could see them return to fourth. Kisumu RFC come into this fixture seeking to claim another scalp in the form of Mwamba RFC.
The final Kenya Cup fixture this weekend sees Homeboyz RFC play host to Mean Machine RFC
Collated Kenya Cup fixtures
Lunch Bar Quins v Strathmore Leos
Nakuru RFC v Impala RFC
Nondies v KCB
Mwamba RFC v Kisumu RFC
Homeboyz RFC v Mean Machine RFC
Eric Shirley Shield Fixtures
Quins II V Strath II
Nakuru II v Impala II
Nondies II v KCB II
Mwamba II v Western Bulls
Homeboyz II v Machine II
Kimathi v Blak Blad II
KeMU v Multimedia
Thika v Kabarak
Kenya Poly v Comras
Catholic v Egerton
Nazarene v Daystar
*The Nationwide league takes a break, resuming on 10 March to allowing pending matches to be played.