With the Kenya Cup entering it’s business end, leaders Lunch Bar Quins have put daylight between them and the chasing pack, as they sit atop the perch, with 54 points from 14 outings, eight clear of second placed Nakuru RFC, who they beat hands down on match day 15.
Five fixtures are on the cards on match 16, four matches in the capital city and one in Nakuru. We preview the weekend fixtures.
Mwamba RFC (5) v Lunch Bar Quins (1)
Saint Mary’s School
Two teams in contrasting form at different times of the season. Mwamba went down to KCB in last weekend’s outing, losing 28-17 while Quins were comprehensive 38-14 winners over second placed Nakuru RFC.
Mwamba began the current campaign as the form team, hogging the league’s pole position with KCB, Strathmore and Nakuru. When these two sides met on Saturday 21 January, Mwamba gave as good as they got, narrowly losing 22-21 to Quins. A dip in form has however seen them slide down the table to fifth, while the opposite can be written of Quins. After an indifferent start to the season that saw them win just one of their opening fixtures, the defending Kenya Cup champions have pieced together a ten match winning streak that has seen them climb to the league’s apex, builiding an eight point buffer between them and the chasing pack. Can they complete the season’s double against the black shirts or will Mwamba be the team to throw a spanner in the works and stop the Ngong’ Road side’s good run of form?
Nakuru RFC (2) v Mean Machine RFC (8)
Nakuru Athletic Club
Hosts Nakuru RFC play at home against Mean Machine as they seek to bounce back from last weekend’s lossto Quins in Nairobi that jolted their hopes for a maiden title. Unbeaten at home this campaign, the Wanyore will not only seek to avenge their 23-20 first leg loss to the students, a match that they ended on a high after trailing 23-5 in mid second half. As they go in pursuit of their sixth successive home win this term, Eric Situma’s charges msut be wary of an unpredictable Mean Machine side out to bounce back from the midweek 18-15 loss to Homeboyz.
Impala RFC (6) v KCB (3)
Two teams who have alongside Quins, dominated the Kenya Cup’s top three for close to a a decade and a half until this season when one of them fell off the pace meet up in what could easily pass as the weekend’s top bill. Impala RFC, out of the top three at the business end of the Kenya Cup for the first time in ages, play KCB, currently placed third and nine points adrift of the leaders.
Why is this match important?
For hosts Impala, they badly need the result. They may be out of league contention but a result against a side with whom they have fought many battles, some, of the title deciding kind, will greatly shore up the morale of a side that is rebuilding under new coach Innocent Simiyu. For KCB, a win will see them keep their slim title hopes alive, if only for another eighty minutes, but they will surley go into this tie feeling that they can beat their hosts who held them to a 15-15 draw when the first leg was played at the Lions Den on Saturday 21 January 2012.
Strathmore Leos (4) v Kisumu RFC (10)
Paul Odera’s Strathmore Leos had the wind knocked out of their sails after the first half of last weekend’s 28-22 loss to Homeboyz. A late second second half surge couldn’t save the Leos from defeat. With a ceiling of 58 points, if they register bonus point wins in each of their remaining fixtures, Strathmore will throw everything at their visitors, going in pursuit of a bonus point win while counting on a combination of multiple factors to keep their slim title hopes alive.
Kisumu RFC who have struggled away from home this season, may seek to draw inspiration from fellow Kenya Cup debutantes, who, as earlier mentioned in this text, beat the Leos last weekend. Will Kisumu be able to muster their first away win of the Kenya Cup?
Nondescript RUFC (7) v Homeboyz RFC (9)
Seventh placed Nondies registered an away 24-12 win over Mean Machine when they had their day out on Saturday 17 March 2012, a result that saw the red lion assume their current league placing. Nondies were 29-17 winners that last time these sides met and will relish the challenge to register a win as they push for a higher league placing at the close of the season.
Homeboyz who shocked Strathmore 28-22 on match day 15, followed this up with a midweek 18-15 win over Machine.This was their second successive win since former Impala coach Bill Githinji joined them as Technical Director. Will they be inspired enough to chalk up a third successive win or will the rigors of playing three matches in seven days catch up with them?
Collated Fixtures with referees appointments
Kenya Cup Match Official
Mwamba RFC v Lunch Bar Quins Constant Cap
Nakuru RFC v Mean Machine RFC Godwin Karuga
Impala RFC v KCB Johnbosco Muamba
Strathmore Leos v Kisumu RFC Chris Okumu
Nondies v Homeboyz RFC Nicholas Gachoya
Eric Shirley Shield
Mwamba II v Quins II Anthony Ndong
Nakuru II v Machine II David Ocharo
Impala II v KCB II Paul Kibe
Strathmore II v Western Bulls Colin Stanley
Nondies II v Homeboyz II Caleb Kiprotich
Mombasa RFC vs USIU Jones Njulu
Egerton vs. Kabarak Victor Oduor
Kimathi vs. Multimedia Sarah Otieno
Kenya Poly vs Blak Blad David Muinde
Catholic vs Thika Chris Mutua