Kabras out to check Oilers run in Nakuru

Starathmore Leos v Menengai Oilers

Philemon Olang (centre) of Strathmore Leos charges past Geoffrey Ominde (left), Austine Sikuiwa and Samson Onsomu of Menengai Oilers during their Kenya Cup Rugby league match at Strathmore University grounds in Madaraka on January 22, 2022.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • RFUEA grounds erupts with a double header where defending champions KCB Rugby will take on hosts Kenya Harlequin at 3pm, a match that will be preceded by Strathmore Leos and Homeboyz clash at 1pm
  • Oilers, who have 33 points that include five bonus points, are unbeaten in seven outings and are followed in second place by Kabras Sugar with 30 points that comprise six bonus points from six wins
  • KCB, who have five wins and a draw, are third with 26 points, one ahead of Strathmore Leos, who have five wins and two losses

Menengai Oilers Rugby Club have held the Kenya Cup lead for the last three weeks.

However, that lead comes under critical scrutiny when they host Kabras Sugar Rugby Saturday at the ASK Showground in the eighth round of the league.

Nairobi Ngong Road’s RFUEA grounds erupts with a double header where defending champions KCB Rugby will take on hosts Kenya Harlequin at 3pm, a match that will be preceded by Strathmore Leos and Homeboyz clash at 1pm.

Former Kenya Cup champions Impala Saracens and Nondescripts, who are at the bottom of the league battling relegation, will take on Mwamba and Nakuru at Impala Sports Club and Ngong Racecourse respectively.

Menengai Oilers, Kabras Sugar and KCB are the only sides still enjoying a 100 per cent run in the league.

Oilers, who have 33 points that include five bonus points, are unbeaten in seven outings and are followed in second place by Kabras Sugar with 30 points that comprise six bonus points from six wins.

KCB, who have five wins and a draw, are third with 26 points, one ahead of Strathmore Leos, who have five wins and two losses. Top four teams will secure semi-final places.

Quins are fifth with 15 points while Impala and Nondies occupy the bottom with six and five points respectively.

Both Oliers and Kabras are already assured of semi-final places but whether Oilers will cash in on home advantage to chalk their first win against Kabras Sugar is left to be known.

Oilers, who managed to reach their first Kenya Cup semi-final last year, lost to Kabras Sugar 38-9 in Nandi in their last regular outing last year.

Kabras Sugar have brought in experienced Kenya Simbas utility back Jone Kubu and centre Bryson Adaka to the starting line-up.

Kubu comes in at fullback replacing Alfred Orege, who drops to the bench while Adaka comes from the bench to replace Felix Ayange, who moves to the wing.

Scrum-half Brian Tanga goes to the bench with Barry Robison taking up his place.

“We would like to continue with our clean run against the Oilers but we reckon that they are getting better every year, having brought it some experience in the likes of Samson Onsomu. They are also at the top of the log hence a tough challenge,” said Kabras deputy coach Edwin Achayo.

Oilers have effected few changes with head coach Gibson Weru bringing in Bildad Ogeta and Geoffrey Omindi at wing and fly-half replacing Timothy Omela and Davis Nyaondi respectively.

His bench also has youthful Under-20 internationals Hillary Malweyi and Manuel Mulla.

“We are underdogs here having lost to them thrice. Our only experienced player is Onsomu at scrum-half while they have many,” said Oilers director of rugby Kiruri Mindo. “We are trying out our systems. We shall be careful and try to kick them a lot and diffuse their systems.”

Quins have unleashed experienced Patrice Agunda and Eden Agero, who will start at blindside and fly-half respectively against the bankers. Quins have lost their last four matches and will be hoping to avoid another defeat.

Speedster Geoffrey Okwatch will be making his first appearance for KCB since recovering from a leg injury. Okwatch replaces Jacob Ojee on the left wing as Peter Waitere and Oscar Simiyu also return to KCB’s starting line-up.

Fixtures

Strathmore Leos v Homeboyz (RFUEA) 1pm

Kenya Harlequin v KCB (RFUEA) 3pm

Menengai Oilers v Kabras Sugar (ASK Nakuru) 3pm

Masinde Muliro v Blak Blad (Kakamega) 3pm

Nondescripts v Nakuru (Ngong Racecourse) 3pm

Impala Saracens v Mwamba (Impala) 3pm

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