Maseno and Moi University lead race to championship qualifiers as Kitale and Pirates fight relegation battle

Maseno University Rugby team after a past nationwide league match. (Photo: Courtesy)
Western region nationwide league favourites Maseno University will face former KRU Championship side Citam Kisumu in the semifinals of the regions playoffs as teams seek to progress to the 2019-2020 championship qualifiers slated for May.

Maseno finished top of the western region pool and defeated Siaya RFC 30-13 to book a slot in the semis against Citam who crushed Mbale RFC 43-3 in the playoff quarters.

Speaking to Standard Sports, Maseno head coach Shellan Nyawira said he is confident his team will make it to the championship playoffs.

“We have had a very good season in the western nationwide league and I think we can make it to the championship qualifiers. All we need is a win against Citam and we are through no matter the outcome of the final,” Nyawira said.

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In the Rift Valley conference, Moi University will face Kabarak University in another epic semi as Nandi and Eldoret highlight the second semifinal. Nairobi Region will see Stingers face Shamas as Northern Suburbs tackle Swara in a bid to make the qualifiers.

At the coast, Malindi RFC and Spartans will highlight the first semifinal match as SC Buccaneers and Technical University of Mombasa tackle each other in the second. Finally, Central Kenya’s Kiambu RFC will have to go through university students JKUAT as Embu and Chuka square it out in another semi match.

Top two teams each from Western, Nairobi and Rift Valley will qualify for the 2019-2020 championship qualifiers alongside winners of the coastal and central region playoffs.

Elsewhere, the 2018-19 KRU Championship relegation battle is set to go down to the wire with three teams facing a threat of being relegated to the nationwide league.

Kitale and South Coast Pirates are in danger of joining Ngong RFC who has already been relegated with two games to go.

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Ngong are bottom of the table with 15 points, trailing Kitale and Pirates with four points and cannot survive with ninth-placed Egerton Wasps ahead with 26 points.

However, Kitale and Pirates can still make it if they both win their remaining two matches and Wasps loses both.

Kitale head coach Ben Amboko said they still believe they can survive the axe.

“We still have two games to make it happen. The team’s main objective is to survive the relegation threat and play in the championship next season. 

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