Defending Impala Floodlit champions KCB face Kenya Cup holders Nakuru RFC on Saturday as the tournament enters the semi-final stage.
The bankers are out to exorcise the ghosts of Nakuru in a match that many have christened ‘the final before the actual final’ as the latter have dominated over the former in the recent past.
KCB clinched their semi-final slot after coming from behind to eliminate hosts Impala last weekend. The bankers will, however, call on their gods against ‘Wanyore’ who have dominated 15s rugby circle in the past two years.
Nakuru dismissed Homeboyz RFC 38-8 in last weekend’s quarter final. Homeboyz were without four key players who represented Kenya in the Gold Coast Sevens leg in Australia, letting Wanyore stomp to the semis without much resistance.
KCB will be without captain Andrew Amonde, Fabian Olando, Oliver Mang’eni and Jacob Ojee who are taking a mandatory 11-day rest after returning from Australia.
That loss is a blow to coach Curtis Olago who has seen his side lose the Kenya Cup to Nakuru in circumstances he terms ‘might have been different’.
“It is always tough against Nakuru but we’ll do our best to progress to the finals. The team is inspired and everyone wants to win so it will be down to tactics on match day. Our opponents are organised so we must be really careful and keep our concentration till the end,” said Olago.
The first semi-final will bring together University of Nairobi’s Mean Machine against fading giants Lunch Bar Quins. The students booked a slot in the last four after dismissing Nondies 11-3 last weekend.
Quins staged a classy performance to eliminate a star-studded Mwamba RFC 30-31 from the tournament last weekend and they are favourites in this tie.
“We have won this tournament before and if they underestimate us, it’s up to them. Against Nondies, we were underdogs but came out on top. We can keep going till the end. Our condition on match day will determine if we are winning or not,” said Machine coach Paul Okech.