Buffaloes, Rhinos face-off in Rugby Super Series second round


Lions Randy Wamah (with the ball) take on Rhinos Evin Asena during Kenya Rugby Union Super Series Rugby tournament on May 4th 2024 at RFUEA ground.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo| Nation Media Group

Kabras Sugar Buffaloes and Faiba Mobile Rhinos have rung changes in their squads ahead of their clash in the second round of the Rugby Super Series today at the Nakuru Athletic Club.

KCB Lions and Menengai Cream Cheetahs, who won their first-round matches, face off in the other second-round game at the same venue.

Favourite Buffaloes stunningly went down 18-5 to Cheetahs while Rhinos fell prey to the Lions, losing 29-7 in the first-round matches played last Saturday at RFUEA ground.

Head coach Max Adaka has made seven changes to the Buffaloes squad that lost to Cheetahs, bringing in hooker Geoffrey Shitambasi for Gibson Perez, second row Hillary Odhiambo for Jacktone Omondi and eighth man Gabriel Adero for Biden Hayo.

In the backline, scrum-half Collins Osore comes in for Dan Ang’wech, while Centres Darrel Brantana and Brian Kiptanui replace Alvin Mutach and Bede Enonda. Fullback Samwel Omollo comes in for James Olela.

Catholic University

“We had to give some playtime to some players, especially from Catholic University like hooker Jeremy Odhiambo and prop Emmanuel Otieno, who will start on the bench and eighth man Gabriel Adero, who will start,” said Adaka.

“We must win this match and the last one in Kakamega against the Lions to finish top or second for the final duel,” explained Adaka.

Rhinos deputy coach Oliver Callum, who has six changes to his squad, has roped in Kenya Under-20 scrum-half Patrick Wainaina but will start from the bench.

Callum has preferred Mohamed Khedir over Abel Matanda at prop, while second-row John Aswani and flanker Laban Kipsang’ come in for Stanslous Shikoli and Barnabas Owuor, respectively.

Arnold Muita replaces Ian Mumbwani, while Ervin Asena retains his fly-half position in the backline.

Hosts Cheetahs coach Lawrence Buyachi and his Lions counterpart Oliver Mang’eni have kept faith in the squads that won last Saturday, making minimal changes ahead of the “Cats” battle.

Kenya Simbas utility back row Elkeans Mukamiti comes in for Samuel Were, while Kenya Under-20 winger Alvin Khavoli replaces Samwel Macharia in Buyachi’s only changes.

Quinto Ongo moves from the right wing to fullback to accommodate Khavoli.

Mang’eni, who has brought in Patrick Ouko for Wilhite Mususi at prop, has put his trust in the likes of Barthes Trophy-winning captain Andy Cole Omollo, among others.

Lions top the standings with five points after their bonus-point victory against Rhinos. The Cheetahs are second with four points, while the Buffaloes and Rhinos are pointless in third and fourth places.

The Rugby Super Series received a significant boost on Wednesday when mobile phone service provider, Jamii Telecom (JTL) supported the event to the tune of Sh4 million.

From the package, Sh1.5 million is in cash, while the remaining Sh2.5 million will go towards branding as JTL took charge of the Rhinos. In addition, the company will provide internet connectivity during the Rugby Super Series.

The games will be played at the Nakuru Athletic Club. Tickets go for Sh500 for regular, Sh200 for parking and Sh2,000 for VIP (parking included).


Nakuru Athletic Club

Buffaloes v Rhinos (2pm)

Cheetahs v Lions (4pm)