alexa Kenya Cup play-off spots up for grabs - Daily Nation

Kenya Cup play-off spots up for grabs

Friday February 14 2020

Homeboyz RFC's Eliphas Emong dives to score a try against Top Fry Nakuru RFC during their Kenya Cup match at Jamhuri Park  in Nairobi on February 01, 2020. Homeboyz RFC won 47-5. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Homeboyz RFC's Eliphas Emong dives to score a try against Top Fry Nakuru RFC during their Kenya Cup match at Jamhuri Park in Nairobi on February 01, 2020. Homeboyz RFC won 47-5. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

AYUMBA AYODI
By AYUMBA AYODI
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Menengai Oilers, Nakuru, Mwamba and Nondescripts have their cards close to their chest as they battle for a place in the play-offs with Kenya Cup regualar season just three matches from the end.

The first two teams topping the log after the last three round of matches will claim the two automatic places in the semi-finals. The next four teams will then battle in a playoff to decide the next two teams to complete the semi-finals paring.

Oilers, who are placed fifth in the log with 36 points, are followed by Nakuru, who occupy the sixth and last slot for the playoff with 33 points. Mwamba are seventh with 29 points while Nondies are eighth with 21 points.

While the rest have played 13 matches, Nondies have one match at hand and still have a date with Kisumu, a duel that was postponed earlier.

On the other hand, four teams - leaders Kabras Sugar, titleholders Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), Homeboyz and Impala Saracens - are all but assured of a place in the playoffs.

EPIC BATTLE

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However, three teams are is still engaged in an epic battle for the two top places what with six points separating them. Kabras Sugar top with 60, one better than KCB while Homeboyz are third with 54 points.

This weekend should be a thriller with teams having the liberty to field Kenya Sevens players before they are plucked out for the next legs of the World Rugby Sevens Series in Los Angeles and Vancouver.

Oilers and Nakuru perhaps have the toughest assignments when they host Homeboyz and KCB in Nakuru respectively, hoping to overturn the first leg defeats.

Oilers hope to beat the Deejays, who defeated them 25-20 while Nakuru will have to dig deep to stun KCB, who hammered them 50-13 in the first leg.

Oilers will then play KCB away before hosting Quins to wrap up their regular season while Nakuru will take on Quins and then Western Bulls to wrap up.

On paper, Mwamba and Nondies have their easier fixtures basing on the results from the first leg. Mwamba meet Kisumu while Nondies face Blak Blad at Kisumu Polytechnic and Jamhuri Park Showground respectively.

In the first leg, Mwamba dismantled Kisumu 67-22 at Railway, Nairobi while Nondies beat Blak Blad 38-23 at Kenyatta University. Mwamba will then meet Impala and Nondies while Nondies will meet Kabras Sugar.

“Last year, we beat them but will be tough since it’s a great side. Their performance has been outstanding since they have only lost two matches,” said Oilers coach Gibson Weru. “But we have grown and gotten better over time to get the right combination that can hold Homeboyz.”

However, Weru has not picked Kenya Sevens players Derrick Keyoga and Davis Nyaudi in his squad for the Deejays showdown.

Nakuru coach Felix Oloo has picked Oscar Ouma as the day’s captain in his side that will also have Kenya Sevens star Nelson Oyoo. “We shall manage them at the backline but we will have to do some extra work in forwards battle,” said Oloo. “We have a good record at home and we understand the importance of this match.”

FIXTURES (all matches start at 4pm)

Nakuru v KCB (Nakuru Athletic Club)

Menengai Oilers v Homeboyz (Nakuru ASK Showground)

Western Bulls v Harlequins (The Bullring, Kakamega)

Impala v Kabras Sugar (Impala Sports Club)

Nondescripts v Blak Blad (Jamhuri Park Showground)

Kisumu v Mwamba (Kisumu Polytechnic)

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