We Are Into The Final Lap
If the 2018/19 Kenya cup season was a long distance track race, then it can be said that we are into the final lap, the final two to be exact.
With two game days to go, the race for the six play-off spots and league survival could not have been closer. With a maximum of 10 points up for grabs between now and the end of the regular season, four sides are in the thick of the race to the play offs, with another three in the dog fight that is the relegation battle.
Five sides will however be going into these two games, with a little less pressure than the others, they are ; League leaders Kabras RFC and second placed KCB RFC, who are assured of their places in the Semifinals. For them, there will only be the small issue of who finishes ahead of the other.
Third placed Quins can also start planning for their play-off fixtures, with 49 points so far, they are assured of a sixth place finish at worst, on a superior point difference.
The other two sides are Homeboyz and Oilers, can start planning for the shorter version of the game. The duo is currently on 27 points, will not make it to the play offs and will not be relegated.
On the lower side of the standings, the three campus sides Blak Blad, Strathmore Leos and Mean Machine will be battling for survival, with only 5 points separating 10th placed Blad and bottom placed Machine.
So who finishes where? Here are our predictions for the last two game weeks of the 2018/19 Kenya Cup regular season.
BLAK BLAD – The boys from KU, host a resurgent Nakuru RFC, before visiting the cage to battle it out against Strathmore Leos. From a possible 10 points, we see Blad picking up five. A losing bonus against Nakuru (who they lost to 42-22 in the first round fixture) and a winning four from Strathmore (who they beat 24-22), to take their season total to 21 assuring them of safety from the chop.
STRATHMORE LEOS – The Leos travel to the forest to take on league leaders Kabras (who they lost to 62-13), before as mentioned above, hosting Blad at the cage. Unfortunately, we see Strathmore picking up one point from these two fixtures, taking their season total to 15 points, which will unfortunately see them relegated for the first time in 12 years.
MEAN MACHINE – The Eschuma face an uphill task to secure Kenya cup status next season. They first take on Impala away (Lost 22-19), before hosting Nakuru at UON (Lost 29-19).
We don’t see the Machine picking up any points from these two fixtures, against sides who will be chasing for a play-off spot, leaving them on 11 points, meaning a straight return to the Championship for one of Kenya’s most celebrated clubs.
Oilers and Homeboyz, might not be in any of the races, but they will play the role of the proverbial ‘King makers’, especially for the Oilers.
The two play each other on match day 15, before Oilers face play off chasing Mwamba as Homeboyz take on KCB.
The Oilers will most probably beat the deflated DJs (Oilers lost 31-28 in the first fixture), and lose to Mwamba with a bonus point (they lost 27-15 in the first fixture). We see the DJs picking up a losing bonus against the Oilers and losing out to KCB in their last game of the season (they lost the first round match, 34-15).
Onto the race to the play offs…
NONDIES – The impressive Red Lion sits on 41 points and will play Mwamba and the Kenya Harlequins in their run in, sides they lost to in the first round, 13-12 and 32-13 respectively. We see the Red Lion managing to pick up losing bonus points in the two fixtures to take their season total to 43 Points.
IMPALA – The shaky Sarries are on 40 points, they take on Mean Machine and Kabras. They narrowly beat Machine 22-19, then lost to Kabras 41-10 in the first round of fixture. With a play-off spot on the line, we see Impala picking up a bonus point win against Machine then losing to Kabras without a bonus, to take their season tally to 45.
MWAMBA – The R-family will take on Nondies and the Oilers in their last two fixtures of the season. The first round matches saw Mwamba sneak past Nondies 13-12 while beating Oilers 27-15.
We see Mwamba taking 9 points from a possible 10, from a bonus point win against Nondies and a straight win against the Oilers, for a season tally of 48 points.
NAKURU – The Wanyore have the easiest looking run in, yet the trickiest, of the sides chasing play off slots, with fixtures against Blak Blad and Mean Machine. Sides the Wanyore beat 42-22 and 29-19, respectively in the first round fixtures. We see Nakuru taking a maximum 10 points from these matches, for a season total of 47 points.
At the top quarter of the table, the Kenya Harlequins face KCB and Nondies. the Quin lost to KCB 22-13 and dispatched Nondies 32-13. As mentioned earlier, we see Quins claiming the win against Nondies, it will be a bonus point win, then earning a losing bounus against KCB, to take their season tally to 55.
The top two are so far ahead of the rest, that they can decide to forego their two fixtures and still finish the log in their current places. Point penalties for not honouring a fixture, included.
For KCB, we see a no bonus point win against Quins followed by a bonus point win against Homeboyz, to take their season tally to 73, a point behind Kabras who should finish the season on 74 points, off bonus point wins against Strathmore and Impala.
We look forward to reading your predictions in the comments section below, preferably before match day 15, as opposed to 7th April, ama?