KCB, Nondies battle for Impala Floodlit crown

Menengai Oilers

Menengai Oilers' Eugene Lubanga (left) is tackled by Nondescript's Calvin Sheunda during their Impala Rugby Floodlit tournament semi-final match at Impala Club on November 5, 2022 at Impala Sports Club.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

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Good attack and defence could define the battle of the cats Saturday evening between holders KCB Rugby Club and Nondescripts in the Impala Floodlit final at Impala Club, Nairobi.

Both sides have effected minimal changes with coaches Curtis Olago (KCB) and Oliver Callum (Nondies) retaining most of the players that did duty for them in their semi-finals last Saturday.

Three-time champions Nondies stunned pre-match favourite Menengai Oilers 16-11 to set up the meeting with KCB’s Lions, who weathered a strong resistance from Kenyatta University's Blak Blad's to win the other semis 14-3.

The Red Lions will be eyeing their fourth cup success. They won the  inaugural edition in 1983, and  in 2002 and 2012.

 KCB, who are the second most successful club at the Impala Floodlit with eight titles, will be looking to equal University of Nairobi’s Mean Machine’s record victories.

The Bankers have won the last three editions with their latest coming in 2019 when they beat Menengai Oilers 23-14 in the final. The event was not played in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Olago has relegated Billy Odhiambo from the left wing to the bench with Michael Kimwere, who played at the right wing, taking up the position.

Festus Shiasi, who started at centre, goes to right wing with Levy Amunga, who came off the bench, starting at midfield.

KCB have reinforced their bench, bringing in Emmanuel Silungi, Curtis Lilako and Smith Muhoya for Winson Macharia, George Gichure and Esau Otieno respectively.

Tony Fidens, who played for Nondies at fullback moves to fly half to replace Calvin Sheunda. KCB team manager Philip Wamae reckons that the much-improved Nondies will be a hard nut to crack.

“They are looking clinical and tactical with great execution in the right territory. This one will be a cracker,” said Wamae. “We must minimise our defensive errors otherwise Nondies won’t be kind to us.”

Callum said Nondies were rebuilding and won’t be under any pressure to perform.

“We shall focus on ourselves and our processes and what we are trying to achieve,” he said.