First Kakamega Derby Lined Up For The Weekend
This Saturday will witness the first instalment of the Kakamega derby, when Western Bulls RFC take on Kabras Sugar RFC at the Kakamega High School.
It will be the first ever derby in the top flight, to feature sides from the Nation’s rugby bedrock, Kakamega. The Western Bulls are in their third season in the top flight, with Kabras doing their debut season, quite impressively I must add.
Echulusi are currently in 10th spot on the log with 12 points, after seven rounds of play. The sugar millers who have had a blistering start to the campaign are in fourth spot, having garnered 26 points.
At the Kakamega high school grounds though, all that will be placed at the touchline, as these two sides face each other in what promises to be a gruelling contest for the region’s bragging rights. Western Bulls have been the shinning light from Kakamega for the last two years, being the only representative in the top flight from the region. That turf however seems to have a challenger, a very worthy one at that.
The two come into this one off contrasting fortunes as displayed by their table standings, Kabras having won their last three matches on the trot, with a bonus.The Bulls on their part have had a torrid time, losing all their outings during the same period.
The air of anxiety in the sport crazy town of Kakamega, in the build up to this game should be sky high. Veteran Anthony Ogot, who turned up for Kabras in that monumental win against Impala last weekend, is set to lead his charges into hostile territory.
He will be counting on the likes of Nick Barasa, Steve Oluoch, Perminus Macharia, Edwin Achayo, Polycap Luaki and Geoffrey Meso all who have experience at this level of rugby to steer his side to the derby win. Their hosts will be looking to bounce back to winning ways in style, with a win over their fierce rivals.
Davis Chenge, Bram Shikanda, Cyrus Kuya, Hillary Mwanjilwa and Solomon Obiero will be vital if the points are to remain at the bull ring. There will also be a family battle, as former KCB mates turned brothers in-law Newton Ong’alo, the current Western Bulls Team manager, squares it out against Anthony Ogot current Kabras Coach/TM/Physio/Captain…
KCB vs Mwamba – Saturday 7:00 pm, Impala Club
Back to the capital, the highlight match will fittingly be played under floodlights, when franchise brothers Mwamba and KCB lock horns at the Impala Club.
These two have contributed to one Franchise in the super series for the last three seasons, in this match however, that brotherhood is forgotten, albeit for eighty minutes. The past three league encounters have gone to show exactly that, serving us with a host of unforgiving hits and battles to remember.
The Lions came out on top in all those occasions, registering a 17-10 win in 2013, following this up with a 20-17 win in that season’s 3rd place play off. Then a 24-22 score last year. Clearly, there has been very little to pick between these two. That doesn’t look like changing this weekend. The two have made strong starts to this campaign, the black shirts perhaps a little slower than the green ones.
Kulabu come into this one off a painful last minute 23-22 defeat at the hands of Strathmore, that narrow defeat seeing them slip to 5th spot on 25 points. The Lions are yet to taste defeat this season, Nondies their latest victims, after a 24-10 win at the weekend. They are in third spot on 33 points.
It is one of those matches where every blade of grass will be battled for, these two boasting of very balanced squads. Generally over the years, Kulabu’s strength has been in their backs, but they have put in real work in the forwards, and are now a force to reckon with in this department.
Same can be said of KCB, whose strength has always been in the forwards, but these days parade a back line that is the envy of many. Now you see how this will be a very tight contest.
With the probable return of Edwin Machanje and Lavin Asego to bolster a Kulabu side that already has the likes of Mike Agevi, Dan Sikuta, Collins Injera, Brad Owako and Salaton Muturi, they will be a real test for the Lions.
The black shirts will be looking to end that two year drought against their franchise brothers and make up valuable ground in the race for play off spots.
On their part, the Lions will be looking to keep their unbeaten run alive for another week as they face a wounded and dangerous Kulabu side. They will probably welcome Moses Amusala who will be featuring for the first time this year.
While Mwamba made a strong start in their fixture last weekend, eventually fading away. KCB’s script read the direct opposite as they were slow off the blocks against Nondies before killing off the match in the second half. It will be interesting to see how these two approach this one, one thing is almost sure, it will be a close one.
Other matches will see new league leaders Nakuru play Nondies at the Impala club just before the highlight match. Second placed Strathmore will play bogey side Homeboyz at the Lion’s den, with Machine playing Blad at the same venue.
Quins will play Catholic in Friday night action at the Impala club, with Impala kicking off Saturday action at the same venue against Mombasa.
Collated Match Day 8 Fixtures :
Quins vs Catholic (Impala Club, Friday 7:00 pm)
Impala vs Mombasa (Impala Club, Saturday 2:00 pm)
Nondies vs Nakuru (Impala Club, Saturday 4:00 pm)
Mwamba vs KCB (Impala Club, Saturday 7:00 pm)
Machine vs Blakblad (KCB Ruaraka, Saturday 2:00 pm)
Homeboyz vs Strathmore (KCB Ruaraka, Saturday 4:00 pm)
Western Bulls vs Kabras (Kakamega High, Saturday 4:00 pm)