Strathmore face Blackblad as Harlequins host Nondies in league duels

Saturday, July 17th, 2021 00:00 |
Strathmore players attempt to tackle Brian Oyando of Kenya Harlequins during their league match last weekend. Photo/PD/ALEX NJUE

Rugby devotees in the country are in for a treat this weekend in the form of Kenya Cup League derbies to mark the ninth round of action.

There is a sense of déjà vu as the league table-toppers KCB face hosts Menengai Oilers in a battle of wits at Nakuru Athletics Club (NAC) in Nakuru with Kabras Sugar up against Nakuru RFC in a n unpredictable Rai Derby at the same setting. 

In Nairobi, action will be at RFUEA ground where Strathmore and Blackblad will first take to the pitch for a battle before Quins test Nondies at the same venue.

At the adjacent Impala ground, sparks are expected to fly when home team Impala slug Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology. (MMUST). 

As for Mwamba, their players will be watching action on the periphery as the team is not engaged this weekend.

Last weekend, Kabras Sugar were in an uncompromising mood by dispatching BlakBlad 47-8 to climb to the second position in the league chart and going by their performance, Nakuru certainly have their work cut out despite the fact that they will be at home.

Boasting of a four-point advantage over third placed Menengai Oilers, Kabras thrived on fast breaks particularly from the wings and Nakuru will therefore need to be on full alert to avoid a heartbreak such as the one which befell Blackblad.

In a tete-a-tete with journalists, Nakuru captain Felix Okoth said believes Wanyore are not pushovers, adding that his team has to be cautious throughout the regulation time and ultimately win to save their faces after the  explicable loss to Impala.

“The worst we can do is to handle them Kabras with kid gloves. However, I must say all eyes will be on us since we will be parading at home and hence have to give our all,’’ said Okoth.

“Losing to Impala was disheartening to say the least but we have corrected the glaring mistakes seen.

The good thing is that all our international players are available for selection and I expect them to make a great difference in our playing pattern.

It will not be easy but who said we cannot beat a bigwig like Kabras,” posed Okoth.

Still in Nakuru, KCB will need a win against Oilers lest they risk forfeiting the log summit to second placed Kabras who are also vouching for success against Nakuru to scale the ladder in the standing.

In Nairobi, Impala will be hoping to maintain their recent good form by blitzing tenth placed MMUST who have had an inconsistent spell in the season.

The talking point amongst rugby fans is the first derby pitting two evenly matched sides in ninth placed Strathmore Leos and Blackblad, two teams that are in a relentless chase for the top five positions.

In retrospect, the only prayers by Strathmore and Blackblad is for Nakuru and Harlequins to lose their respective fixtures to achieve the feat.

The last derby between Nondies and Quins will pit teams that have had contrasting fortunes in the season.

Unlike Nondies, Quins have yet to taste a win and defeat at the hands of the latter will make things bad to worse.

 Quins lost 29-22 to MMUS in their latest fixture and have to correct a few things here and there in their playing format.  

More on News