Kenya Rugby’s Super Sato
Every once in a season, twice if we are lucky, the rugby gods look down at Kenya rugby and align the stars to produce the perfect rugby weekend.
During this very rare occurrence, fans are treated to the best of everything. There are usually two blockbuster matches in the top flight and a serving of sevens to take you through the night. Coincidentally these perfect rugby weekends fall on the last week of January. Ladies and gentlemen, this season’s super Sato is here.
For our local treat this year, we have a sumptuous serving of the Ngong road derby and an equally mouth watering tie between KCB and Kabras, both playing in the capital. For the deserts we will have a serving of the Kenya 7s at the Wellington 7s where we play Argentina, Papua New Guinea and England from around 2:30 am.
In so many words, you will be able to watch rugby from Saturday 10 am to around Sunday 11 am, with generous breaks in between, for family time and other human activities.
Kenya Harlequins vs Impala
The Ngong road derby needs no introduction to any sports fan, this Saturday the age old rivals lock horns once again at the RFUEA grounds.
The last time these two met, Quins strolled over a hapless Impala 28-10 at the Impala club just before the close of the year. That score a reflection the general tilt in affairs along Ngong road in the recent past as far as the two are concerned.
Quins have only lost once to Impala in the last 6 league meetings, that run stretching from the 2012-13 Kenya cup. Impala’s only joy coming in 2014, courtesy of a 33-22 victory at the RFUEA.
If current form is anything to go by, Impala’s dismal run against their next door neighbours will not come to an end this weekend. Quins have been the superior side of the two this far into the season, losing only once in the 8 games played.
Impala’s record reads 2 losses in 7 matches, they come into this crucial encounter in 5th place on the log, with Quins in second spot tied on points with top spot.
In the run up to this weekend, Quins lost 15-10 to Homeboyz on match day 8, before seeing off a stubborn Nondies side 38-22 last weekend. Impala beat Strathmore 29-10 on game week 8, before losing 48-10 to the Homeboyz last weekend.
Back to back losses would be detrimental to Impala’s run for the title, though not completely, it will however have a big impact. They can not afford to take a loss here. Quins will have the chance to cement their dominance over Impala by claiming the double, more importantly for them however will be the lure top spot depending on how the other match goes.
The two sides have left nothing to chance as far as team selection goes. Impala have made 4 changes to the uninspired side that was drubbed by Homeboyz. Muniafu partners Makori at lock with Tyson Okoth and Derrick Mayar earning slots at flank and blind wing respectively.
If the Sarries are to come out with anything here they have to give Quins far less space than they did in the last encounter. Especially to Isaac Adimo who almost single handedly destroyed them.
If Mohammed Omollo and Samson Onsomu can ignite this Sarries side into the free flowing rugby we all know they can play then Quins will have a whole different thing coming at them.
Predictably Adimo earns a starting berth and is one of 6 changes to the Quins side who have called upon Wanyama, Aseko, Odera, Shitanda who scored a brace in the reverse fixture, Shihundu and Shikuku.
The quartered shirts already know what to do to beat Impala I don’t see them changing that approach. Adimo and Asiligwa will be charged with ensuring that the Quin plays at their own tempo, dictating both territory and possession.
Both sides have an evenly matched starting xv with the key encounter being at the middle of the park where Patrice Agunda and Frank Wanyama will be squaring it up against Samuel Motari and Anthony Nyandigisi. Also watch out for the battle of the forwards specifically Davis Makori taking on Tony Mutai and Vicor Odera against Simon Muniafu.
KCB vs Kabras.
With all the success Kabras have enjoyed in their short existence, it is very hard to believe that they have never beaten KCB in the league.
This will be the 5th meeting between these two, out of those meets, the Lions have won 4, drawing one, a 15 all result in Kakamega in the reverse fixture. The last time the two battled at the den, was in the 2014/15 season when Kabras were making their debut in the Kenya cup, that one ending in a 13-3 win for the hosts.
2 cup finals and a Kenya cup each way later, these two clash once again at the Den, with precious points and a fair share of bragging rights on offer.
Like in the Ngong road derby, these two have met a similar opponent in the previous fortnight, KCB who sit top of the log beat Nakuru 28-10, before putting 70 unanswered points last week past Machine. Kabras who are in 3rd, beat Mwamba 37-32 before falling to Nakuru 19-17 last weekend.
The form book has very little to separate these two with KCB unbeaten in the 8 matches played, Kabras losing once over the same period.
If the reverse fixture is anything to go by, this is going to be a nail bitter. KCB have changed seven from the side that beat Machine, reverting to the 15 that delivered the win over Nakuru. George Asin starts at hooker, with the Kilonzos, Peter Waitere, Marlin Mukolwe and Oliver Mangeni also earning starting berths.
Edwin Achayo will finally make his return to the Kabras side after a lengthy lay off, he starts off the bench in a largely unchanged Kabras side. Felix Ayange starts at 15 with Hillary Mwanjilwa slotting in at loose head and the wrecking ball Sava Racigi starting at wing.
That this is going to be a bruiser of a match is no secret, these two prefer playing to a similar style, the direct one. With kilos to throw around on either side there will be very little to pick between these two.
Of the multiple individual match ups on the field, a couple stand out, first at fly half the make shift pair of Philip Wokorach and Ken Moseti will face off. At center the experienced Brian Omondi takes on an equally decorated Nick Barasa.
Geoffrey Messo who is a former KCB player will be in all too familiar company when he faces Peter Waitere in the back row. It will be a battle between master and apprentice when Anthony Ogot comes on to face Oliver Mang’eni.
In such tight contests the one who make the most out of his time on the ball carries the day. The half back pairings will be crucial at the Den, the introduction of Edwin Achayo will probably be Kabras’ silver bullet of the evening.
Collated Match Day 10 Fixtures
KCB v Kabras Sugar – 4.00pm, KCB Sports Club.
Top Fry Nakuru v Western Bulls – 4.00pm, Nakuru Athletic Club.
Mean Machine v Mwamba – 4.00pm, UoN Grounds.
SportPesa Quins v Resolution Impala Saracens – 4.00pm, RFUEA.
Nondescripts v Strathmore Leos – 2.00pm, RFUEA.
Which ever match you decide to attend you will definitely have one eye on your social media time line looking out for other results, either way let us meet at Quins after wards to compare war stories, shall we?