Kenya Cup: Top six shift gears to playoffs
Kabras Sugar and KCB RFC earned their Kenya Cup semi-final ticket after finishing top and second in the overall Kenya Cup standings after the regular league came to an end over the weekend.
Henley Du Plessis charges finished top of the log with 75 points, four more than ahead of KCB RFC who finished second with 71 points.
The western-based side have won 15 matches and lost one while Curtis Olago charges have won 14 matches; drawn one and lost one.
By virtue of finishing first and second respectively in the Kenya Cup, the two sides automatically qualify for the semi-finals of the playoffs while number three to six battle will battle it out in the quarterfinals.
In the quarter pairings, third-placed Menengai Cream Homeboyz willtake on sixth-placed Menengai Oilers at the Jamhuri Park while fourth-placed Impala Saracens will host fifth-placed Stanbic Mwamba at the Impala Club. The matches set to be played from 4 pm on March 15.
Meanwhile, after helping his charges qualify for the Kenya Cup playoffs slot after demolishing Kenya Harlequins 39-13 over the weekend at the Moi Showground in Nakuru, Oilers head Coach Gibson Weru believes the task ahead is far from easy.
“Playoffs are going to be tough. When we play top sides like KCB, Kabras and Homeboyz we always come second best and I think they are a gear higher than us,” claimed the former Simba flanker.
“Playing in the quarter-finals might be work for us but at the same time we might end up losing our rhythm, but it is a good break for us to work on the weaknesses that we had against Homeboyz and see if we will get some points,” explained Weru.
Western Bulls and Kisumu RFC were both relegated from the top tier after finishing the league at the bottom with 13 and six points respectively.
The two never honoured their last league matches over the weekend handin walkovers to their opponents and will go back to the Championship League next season, a year after being promoted to the top tier.
KCB is the defending Kenya Cup champions having won the gong for the last three seasons in a row.
The top six teams in the Championship will also battle it out in the playoffs with two teams getting a direct ticket to the top tier next season.
Varsity side Strathmore Leos finished the regular league unbeaten followed by Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology who are second placed on the log with 15 wins and one loss.
Mean Machine beat Mombasa RFC 18-13 at the Mombasa Sports Club to finish third.
Strathmore Leos and Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology qualify for the championship playoffs semi-finals while third place Mean Machine will face-off with sixth-placed Egerton Wasps at the UoN grounds while fourth-placed USIU will host fifth-placed Northern Suburbs. All matches will be played at 4 pm.
Kisumu RFC won the Championship trophy last season beating Western Bulls 23-05; both earning promotion to the top tier.
KENYA CUP TOP SIX TEAMS
- Kabras Sugar – 75
- KCB RFC – 71
- Homeboyz – 66
- Impala – 48
- Mwamba – 43
- Oilers 41
KENYA CUP PLAYOFFS
Homeboyz RFC vs Menengai Oilers – 4 pm Jamhuri Park
Resolution Impala vs Stanbic Mwamba – 4 pm Impala Club
CHAMPIONSHIP CUP PLAYOFFS
Mean Machine RFC vs Egerton Wasps – 4 pm UON
USIU vs Northern Suburbs – 4 pm USIU