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Impala, Mwamba lock horns in mid-table tie

Friday November 15 2019

Kabras Sugar fullback Jones Kubu (left) avoids a tackle from Mwamba forward Venanzio Ng'ang'a during their Kenya Cup rugby league match at Railway Club, Nairobi on November 2, 2019. Kabras won 43-06. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Kabras Sugar fullback Jones Kubu (left) avoids a tackle from Mwamba forward Venanzio Ng'ang'a during their Kenya Cup rugby league match at Railway Club, Nairobi on November 2, 2019. Kabras won 43-06. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

AYUMBA AYODI
By AYUMBA AYODI
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Impala Saracens and Mwamba face-off in a mid-table Kenya Cup rugby union league match at Impala Sports Club Saturday afternoon.

Both teams go into the fourth round of matches duel with two wins and a loss each.

League leaders Kabras Sugar, defending champions Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and Homeboyz will be seeking to uphold their unbeaten run.

KCB have a reason to worry when they meet Menengai Oilers, who had a dream start to the league, beating Nakuru 31-5 and Western Bulls 27-21 before losing to Homeboyz 25-20.

Kabras Sugar and Homeboyz are eying bonus point victories when they take on Nondescript and Western Bulls respectively in a double header at Jamhuri Park Showground in Nairobi.

After stunning Nondies in round two of matches, Kisumu will be hoping to once again turn the tables on hosts Blak Blad at Kenyatta University ground while bottom placed Nakuru and Kenya Harlequin battle each other for a first win of the season at the Nakuru Athletic Club.

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Impala and Mwamba have both faced Kabras Sugar this season losing 43-9 and 27-3 but all pummelled Blak Blad 57-9 and 34-27 respectively.

Impala also edged out Nondies 26-14 while Mwamba beat Kisumu 67-22.

A good encounter is expected but Impala could just have a slight edge over Mwamba basing on the outcome of matches played so far.

Head-to-head, Impala have won in three of their five outings in the last five seasons.

It’s Mwamba who reigned supreme in their last league outing the previous season 20-16 at Impala Sports Club.

Impala beat Mwamba last during the 2017/2018 season 30-12.

However, they last met in Enterprise Cup semi-finals on April 13 where Impala claimed a comprehensive 71-19 win.

If Mwamba tighten their defence and make their attacks count then Impala will be in for a tough day.

Mwamba conceded many points against Kabras, Blak Blad and Kisumu.

Mwamba’s technical bench has made minimal changes to the team that beat the Kisumu-based side, Chris Asira coming in at blindside flanker for injured Gideon Mbithi.

The day’s captain Michael Agevi comes in at inside centre replacing Patrick Ruhiu.

Felix “Top Dog” Otieno starts at the blind wing as Alex Aturo switches to open side wing in place of Joel Inzuga who is unavailable.

Brian Kivasia returns in his favourite fullback position replacing injured Fred Nyachio.

Kenya Sevens international Daniel Taabu, Meshack Obota and Eugene Nzioka start on the bench.

“Our defence has been wanting but we have worked on it this week, replacing slow forwards and backs with quick ones,” said Mwamba coach Louis Kisia.

“We expect a tactical and entertaining match. We expect our mobile forwards to do the trick. Impala’s coach Mitch Ocholla hopes to bounce back from their loss to Kabras with the return of forwards big Davis Makori, Franz Abudo, Frank Aduda and Duncan Ekasi.

His backline will stay basically the same with scrum-half and skipper Samson Onsomu marshalling play.

“We need to get back to the winning ways after the Kabras loss. We have solid and free-falling opponents but we are ready for them,” said Ocholla.

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