Say Goodbye To Ordinary Saturdays!
For the next 6 months, your Saturdays will be nothing short of extra ordinary, as we finally welcome back the region’s favourite league, the Kenya Cup.
Among other things, your Saturdays will now be filled with edge of the seat, heart stopping top flight rugby action, as we witness 12 teams crisscross the nation battling out for the nation’s top title, over 19 weeks.
See Kenya cup is not your ordinary league, it goes well beyond your ordinary game day, it keeps you glued from Monday to Monday.
A typical Kenya cup game week usually follows a certain cycle, Game day Saturday (When the actual games are played, 6 games to be precise) – Hang over Sunday (This one is self explanatory really, some call it chill Sunday) -Banter Monday (We’ll get to this one in a few, it stretches till Wednesday depending on magnitude) – Build up Thursday (Normally the clubs name their match day squads after the Thursday training session) – Adrenaline Friday (Build up to the game week hits a crescendo) then back to Saturday.
Why do we love the Kenya cup this much, well let me fill you in on some of the reasons:
1. Banter Mondays – As mentioned a typical Kenya cup game week usually follows a 4 phase cycle, of those 4, Banter Monday is by far the best.
After the teams have pounded at each other for eighty minutes on the green, Monday gives the fans a chance to slag it off on social media. The memes and videos stream in from all angles, woe unto thee if you talked a big game during the build up to the game and your team could not back your talk.
Where to enjoy this – Rugby Banter HQ.
P.S This one is not for the faint-hearted and club management staff too by the way, hehe.
2. The Roller Coaster – The best part about the Kenya cup season is how unpredictable it is, one moment you are up on cloud 9, the next you are face first in a mud pit, twisting and turning wondering how you got there. Perfect example, from last season’s eventual champions Kabras who had one win in their opening 5 games, then BOOM! They were singing that champion song in May.
Where to enjoy this – Available on any given Saturday, at a rugby pitch near you.
3. Those DSTL Matches – Unfortunately you won’t be able to attend all matches in the 19 weeks, there are 6 matches every weekend by the way. For one reason or another you might be away or attending one match while your side is depending on results from another match, introducing DSTL.
You will be seated with one eye on the game and another on your Twitter timeline, refreshing scores. You will be cheering at things people don’t understand, then you will have to explain then they’ll most probably join in. This mostly happens towards the end of the regular season.
4. The Cold drink – They say rugby and beer go hand in hand, there is something about watching a rugby game on a hot afternoon with a cold beer in hand. It might not be a beer for you, but just a drink of your choice, try it. But be careful during DSTL weekends, you might spill your drink, guys start saying, “Ona ule amejimwagia..”
Where to enjoy this – Any rugby club with a club house.
5. The Derby – There are approximately 103 games in this Kenya cup season, but none comes close to the derby, the Ngong road derby, played between Impala and Quins.
The excitement, raw passion and entertainment this one offers is like no other, over the past few years the match has been a one way affair. Quins first dominated in the early 2010s with Impala taking up the most recent years. This season however will be the first in a long while the two will be evenly matched, to add on to it, they will be playing twice in the regular season.
Of course there are other great matches ‘derbies’ of sorts, KCB vs Nakuru, Nakuru vs Kabras, Homeboyz vs Strathmore, Nondies vs Blakblad, that serve up just as mouth watering clashes.
Where to enjoy this – Along Ngong Road, either at the RFUEA or Impala grounds.On 17th December 2016 and 11th March 2017.
6. The Emotion ‘Malaria’- “The thing about rugby is that it proves that men have emotions and they are not afraid to show them.” (Read the captions under those photos at Quins, next to the lavatories, si kuangalia picha tu!)
7s rugby is like a quickie, 15s is like a full night, complete with a pre-date and breakfast in bed..
Over 80 minutes, a Kenya cup match can take you through emotions that your relationship has never even tried to. The tactical play, pure brute and turn of speed can not be experienced anywhere else. It is how you see a set play move build into a well worked try, how it sometimes feels like they are carrying your heart around and tossing it around…
It is the last minute action when you are leading by a point or two and they are awarded a penalty, right within range, then their kicker who hasn’t missed a kick through out the game steps up…it is that last move to give your side the win, then a stupid salamander knocks it on at the very last instance…it is, (Let me stop here, babe I still love you.)
Where to Enjoy this – A rugby club close to you, on any given match day.
7. The Camaraderie – Rugby has this sense and level of friendship and respect you will struggle to find anywhere else. The roots of these are planted in the Kenya cup. When the eighty minutes are over on the pitch, then the real rugby starts off it. Friends and players from the two teams that had knocked the light out of each other, sit down to share a drink, they sing dance and make merry as the night winds away. Life time friendships and bonds have been formulated here.
Where to enjoy this – A rugby club near you, say from 6 PM, but you have to be there from around 2 PM.
8. The Photo Moments – In this digital era, sports photography has been one of the greatest beneficiaries this far, along spaces like these. It means a photo can be uploaded to a website or social media platform within minutes of being captured.
It also means that a big usually circulates within minutes, I am convinced that there are guys who sit waiting for such moments just to share with a “LOL” or “TIAF!” caption. These photos are such a big deal in the Kenya cup season, endless memes are created, captions. Fans are not spared either, ukizubaa na mdomo wazi, unajipata Rugby Banter!
9. Head to Head – A few seasons back we started a segment named head to head, where I challenge a fan to predict the result of the upcoming matches, then I post the results on Monday.
After beating guys left right center, I got bored but promise to give y’all a second chance this season so, watch out for Head to head reloaded!
Where to enjoy this – Head to Head.
10. The Singing – This is one of those cultures that has faded in the recent seasons, fans just don’t sing anymore at rugby matches. The few that do are almost giving up, but this has to be revived people. We can’t be watching games like we are doing exams..hehe
Finally you have to pick a club to support to really enjoy the experience that is the Kenya cup, here are your options in order of how they finished last season – Kabras, Impala, Quins, KCB, Homeboyz, Nakuru, Strathmore Leos, Mwamba, Western Bulls, Blak Blad, Nondies and Mean Machine.
Check them out, pick one and find them this weekend here :
Homeboyz v Strathmore Leos – 2.00pm, Impala Club
Kabras Sugar v Mean Machine – 4.00pm, Kakamega Showgroud
Western Bulls v KCB – 4.00pm, Kakamega High School
Nakuru v Mwamba – 4.00pm. Nakuru Athletic Club
Kenya Harlequin v Blak Blad – 4.00pm, RFUEA
Impala Saracens v Nondescripts – 4.15pm, Impala Club