A sweet old, rugby-rivalry has developed between the Mwamba side and Nakuru over the seasons, as these two teams have ‘locked horns’ both in Kenya Cup, rugby 10s and Ladies tournaments. And during the Kenya Cup Playoffs, it will continue.
Recent outcomes will contribute to the sentiment on the field. This includes the ladies of Mwamba beating Nakuru in the Great Rift Nakuru 10s tournament on Friday 19 March. Beaten, this has made their male club mates feel the urge not only to win the game but, to also avenge their Nakuru ladies team.
That demonstrates the strength of both clubs and their regions. Competitive, right across the board. And this trend will continue in the highly competitive Kenya Cup quarterfinal, knockout stages.
Kenya Cup sides reach Playoff stages
In November 2018, the Kenya Cup kicked off its 16 week-long journey, that will soon come to a close in 2019. Just the top six ranked Kenya Cup teams will proceed to the playoffs and demonstrate the strength of the game in Africa.
The top two teams after the regular season now enjoy a well-earned rest. This sees the those remaining four sides battle it out. Top Fry Nakuru host Stanbic Mwamba, while Kenya Harlequins invite Impala Saracens to a local derby match.
And unfortunately – as occurs in most competitions – the lowest placed two teams in the league have been relegated to the Championship division, next season.
Last Word on Rugby looks at the final table standings, recent results leading into the playoffs, and then previews which games may determine the playoff results in this year’s competition.
Kenya Cup 2018/19 – Final Standings:
This is how it all ended #KenyaCup
And with the top six sides progressing to the #Playoffs who will get a chance to face the best… @RfcKabras and @kcbrugby
Will be interesting to see how the #NAKvMWA #HARvIMP games go?@RugbyKEN_ pic.twitter.com/5qxfUfC3zX
— scott hornell (@scotthornell73) April 26, 2019
Log leaders Kabras Sugar RFC finalized their lead at the top after beating the Resolution Impala Saracens 32-22 at the Impala Grounds. The win saw them sit comfortably at the top of the table with 74 points, two ahead of the second placed and defending champions KCB.
Kabras Sugar and KCB earn themselves a direct semifinal place, having finished first and second respectively.
While the KCB RFC side defeated Menengai Cream Homeboyz RFC 10-3 at the Jamhuri Grounds, it was enough to reward the former champions to enjoy a week off – time that each side can benefit from, as the others battle it out.
Kenya Harlequins shut Nondies out of the 2018/2019 season playoffs, by beating them 15-12. That outcome helped Top Fry Nakuru to move up from the 6th position to the 4th, with 47 points. Stanbic Mwamba and Resolution Impala Saracens complete the 5th and 6th playoff positions, with the first round of knockout games beginning on April 27.
This weekend @NakuruRFC hosts @MwambaRFC in #KenyaCup Quarter-Finals match and the winner of the match will Travel to Kakamega to face @RfcKabras in the Semis. #Mnyore2TheCore pic.twitter.com/IDGDrb2DDe
— Nakuru Rugby Fans! (@NakuruRugbyFans) April 25, 2019
Strathmore Leos and Mean Machine finished in positions 11 and 12, and are thus relegated from the Kenya Cup. Blakblad beat the Leos 24-0 at the Cage in Madaraka, securing their much needed 10th place position.
Fans prepare for Knockout Footy in Kenya Cup
Each of the four sides entering this next stage of the 2018/19 Kenya Cup, know the importance ‘knockout footy’.
The playoffs serve-up fans a ‘Ngong Road Derby’ on April 27, when the third-placed Kenya Harlequins will face Resolution Impala Saracens.
Never has there been a greater rivalry in Kenyan Rugby than the #NgongRoadDerby. This Saturday we play our neighbours, @ImpalaSaracens at home. Game kicks off at 4:00PM and will be aired live on @BambaSports. Turn up with a friend and let's support the boys.#ReignSupreme #SSS pic.twitter.com/l3rUDOI0Dt
— Kenya Harlequin (@KenyaHarlequins) April 24, 2019
Stanbic Mwamba will head to the Nakuru Athletics Club to meet their rivals head-on. That will be as compelling a clash, as fans have seen all year. And the winners of both games must then prepare for even tougher opponents.
Kabras RFC will host the winner of the Mwamba v Nakuru clash, while KCB welcomes the Ngong Rd derby winner, in the Kenya Cup semifinals; scheduled for May 11, 2019.
For more information visit the Kenya Rugby website.
“Main photo credit – Denis Half-Acre”