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Kabras aim to retain title as Kenya Cup kicks off

 Kabras Sugar players tackle KCB's Jacob Ojee during their 2023 Enterprise Cup final match at RFUEA Ground on April 15. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The wait is finally over.

And as the much-anticipated Kenya Cup rugby season kicks off this weekend, all eyes will be on defending champions Kabras Sugar RFC as they battle with newly-promoted Kisumu RFC at the Kakamega Showgrounds.

The rugby enthusiasts are in for a treat as the action unfolds in what promises to be a thrilling clash between two teams with different trajectories in the league.

Kabras Sugar, who clinched the Kenya Cup title last season with an unbeaten record, are eager to start their journey towards clinching a historic third consecutive championship title.

The reigning champions dominated the regular season and sealed their triumph with a resounding 19-9 victory against archrivals KCB in the finals. Adding to their accolades, Kabras Sugar also hold the Enterprise Cup, further solidifying their status as a newfound rugby powerhouse.

The millers boast an impressive eight-year unbeaten run in their opening matches of the season.

This remarkable streak has become a tradition for the team and serves as a source of confidence as they welcome Kisumu in their season opener.

Kabras Sugar's management and fans alike are optimistic that this tradition will continue, providing a strong foundation for their pursuit of another Kenya Cup title.

History favours Kabras Sugar in their encounters with Kisumu, especially when looking back at their clash in the 2019 season opener.

The Kakamega Showgrounds witnessed a rugby spectacle when Kabras Sugar decimated Kisumu with an emphatic 89-0 victory.

The venue, once again hosting today’s match, holds nostalgic memories for Kabras Sugar and a psychological advantage over Kisumu.

However, rugby is known for its unpredictability, and Kisumu, fueled by their promotion from the KRU Championship, will be eager to make a statement in their Kenya Cup return.

Kisumu earned their spot in the Kenya Cup after finishing second in the 2022-2023 KRU Championship, a competition won by Nondescripts. The journey from the Championship to the top tier has been a significant achievement for Kisumu, and they will be looking to prove their mettle against the defending champions.

The resilience and determination that secured their promotion will be crucial assets as they navigate the challenges of the Kenya Cup.

In another intriguing match, last season's runners-up, KCB, will face off against Nondescripts at Ruaraka. KCB, eager to avenge their loss in the finals, will be tested by the Championship winners in what is expected to be another closely contested encounter.

The weekend fixtures also include exciting battles between Blak Blad and Mwamba, Menengai Oilers and Homeboyz, Nakuru and Strathmore Leos, as well as Kenya Harlequin and Catholic Monks.

Each match presents its own narrative, with teams’ eager to set the tone for their Kenya Cup campaigns.

As rugby enthusiasts gear up for the weekend, the Kenya Cup promises to deliver intense competition, skillful displays, and moments of brilliance.

Whether it's the defending champions seeking a historic title triumph or newly-promoted teams making their mark, the stage is set for an exhilarating season of rugby in Kenya.

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