Repeat Finalists KCB, Impala Rev Up For Floodies Title Charge

Oct 26 - by Erick Ochieng for sportpesa news

The bankers beat the Gazelles 18-17 to win last year's edition

Action during 2018 Impala Floodlit Rugby Tournament contest in Nairobi.PHOTO/KRU

  • Champions, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) RFC, and Resolution Impala Saracens RFC will renew rivalry for the third year in a row during the 37th edition of Impala Rugby Floodlit tournament final at Impala Club in Nairobi on Saturday night
  • KCB indicated they have no pressure in the final and are using the tournament to prepare for the Kenya Cup
  • Nairobi University’s Mean Machine who have gained promotion to the 2018/2019 Kenya Cup will tackle United States International University (USIU) in the varsities final expected to be cutthroat

NAIROBI, Kenya- Champions Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) RFC and Resolution Impala Saracens RFC will renew rivalry for the third year in a row during the 37th edition of the Impala Rugby Floodlit tournament final at Impala Club in Nairobi on Saturday night.

Impala named a strong squad of 23 for the showdown with great hope of capturing the title they lost to the bankers last season.

“We have had a highly intensive 15-week pre-season training ahead of this match and the Kenya Cup whose kick-off is around the corner.

“The final will be tough, but I’m predicting that we will carry the day with a 7-5 lead at half time before wrapping the game with a 10-9 win,” Impala head coach and former Kenya international Oscar Osir, underlined.

Soita Wekesa replaces Edgar Obino at front row while Joshua Matasi will start at hooker for the home side.

Mark Kwemoi, who was 2017 National Sevens Circuit Most Valuable Player, will fill the void left by Sammy Oliech at fly half with the latter having been called up to the Kenya Simbas squad for the 2018 Rugby World Cup Repecharge in Marseille, France.

KCB on the other hand proclaimed they have no pressure ahead of the final as they continue their preparations for the Kenya Cup.

The titleholders are arguably in top form after a 10-day high performance camp in South Africa where head coach Curtis Olago and the players went through rigorous training.

Mental attitude

“The boys got exposure and this was evident on how we tackled Homeboyz last weekend.

“It’s the same tactical approach that we will apply against Impala tomorrow (Saturday),” KCB Team Manager, Phillip Wamae, underscored.

“We have the right focus and mental attitude to win the tournament but my prediction is that the team that will make the least mistake will carry the trophy home,” Wamae added.

Impala beat KCB 33-32 in the 2016 final before the bankers hit back with an 18-17 win last year to ‘even out’ the scores.

On their way to the 2018 decider, six-time champions KCB beat Homeboyz 34-10 in the semis while Impala, who have won their home tournament on seven occasions, edged Strathmore Leos 20-18.

Nairobi University’s Mean Machine, who gained promotion to the 2018/2019 Kenya Cup, will tackle United States International University (USIU) in the varsity final expected to be cutthroat.

Machine beat Catholic University Monks 34-22 in the Semis last weekend as USIU trimmed Swara 17-13.

“The tournament has enabled us to identify players who needs more attention ahead of Kenya Cup. We’ve also been able to know structures that work and those that don’t,” Machine chairman, Odipo Siwa, emphasised.

The 37th Edition of Impala Rugby Floodlit last day programme

1100: Get Into Rugby/Age Grade competition

WOMEN’S COMPETITION

1200: Black Lions vs Ngong Fry

SCHOOLS FINAL

1330: Ofafa Jericho vs Alliance High School

VARSITY FINAL

1500: Mean Machine vs USIU

CLUBS PLATE FINAL

1700: Stanbic Mwamba vs Kenya Harlequins

MAIN CUP FINAL

1900: Resolution Impala Saracens vs KCB