Kenya Harlequin have warned leaders Kabras Sugar to prepare for a classic Kenya Cup showdown and first defeat of the season when they clash on Saturday at the RFUEA grounds.
It’s a match where Quins will also be seeking revenge against Kabras Sugar, who beat them 22-13 last season in Kakamega, during the regular league outing.
Quins beat Kabras last 19-13 during the 2016/2017 Kenya Cup in Kakamega, but the sugar men went through to the Cup final.
Interestingly, Quins coach Charles Cardovillis was in charge at Kabras Sugar when the Ngong Road-based club lost in Kakamega.
Kabras Sugar now have a new coach from South Africa, Henley du Plessis and equally a new chairman Philip Jalang’o.
Jalang’o served as Quins boss when the club won Kenya Cup back-to-back in 2011 to 2012, the last time they won the prestigious title.
Cardovillis acknowledges that he had a good season with Kabras Sugar, guiding them to Kenya Cup final last season, but hastened his is ready for the challenge.
“Had an enjoyable year with Kabras and I know the players pretty well, but I have since moved on and that comes with the job and territory,” said Cardovillis, adding that it will be down to rugby when the whistle goes.
Cardovillis said Quins’ aspiration is to have well-oiled and working structures in attack and defence that will halt Kabras Sugar’s dominance this season.
“The Kenya Cup tables tells no lies. Kabras are the best team in the country at the moment by virtue of having won all their eight matches with bonus points,” said Cardovillis.
“We want to put our best foot forward and hopeful inflict their first defeat. We shall field a combination that will hurt and destroy Kabras structures.”
Cardovillis explained that victory for them will help close the gap at the top. Kabras top with 40 points, followed by KCB on 35 and Quins 31.
Cardovillis said that he believes he has a squad that will produce the results, hence what his charges need to do is focus on perfecting what they have been trying to achieve.
“We just need to stop Kabras from playing rugby and deny them possession. We intended to match them one-on-one and man-to-man,” said Cardovillis, adding that they also have a mobile pack and backs.
“Our set pieces have really been good and no team has managed to drive them back in the scrum.”
At the end of the day, Cardovillis reckons that it will be a classic encounter with both sides having talented players.
“The team that turns up and want it more is the one going to win.”