Kabras launch Enterprise Cup defence against Oilers
Kabras Sugar will be looking to make home advantage count when they begin their Enterprise Cup defence with a round of 16 clash against Menengai Oilers in Kakamega today.
The sugar millers, who are coached by South African Henly Du Plessis, are favourites to progress to the quarter-finals having beaten the Nakuru outfit when the sides last faced off in the Kenya Cup league.
The Enterprise Cup, which is Kenya’s oldest rugby competition, has been intertwined with the Kenya Cup just as was the case last season.
Today’s matches will present teams with a great opportunity to give game-time to their fringe players before the league resumes with round 14 fixtures next weekend.
Having defeated Ngong Road-based side Impala Saracens 37-7 to clinch their maiden Enterprise Cup trophy last year, Du Plessis is hopeful they will retain the title.
Kabras top the Kenya Cup standings with 60 points and Du Plessis is keen on employing squad rotation in the 3 pm fixture at the Bull Ring.
“Oilers is a very tricky side and we are going to assemble the strongest squad available. We are planning to give some regular starters a rest as we eye another top-of-the-table finish in the Kenya Cup.However, that doesn’t mean we shall field a weak squad,” he said.
Meanwhile, Western Bulls, who are battling relegation in the Kenya Cup, have withdrawn from the Enterprise Cup competition.
Bulls, who were drawn against Kenyatta University’s Blak Blad in the round of 16, have cited financial constraints as their reason for pulling out with coach Solomon Obiero saying their focus is on securing survival in the league.
KRU Championship side, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, will also not travel to Nairobi to face Nondescripts with the students focused on Kenya Cup promotion.
“We were planning to honour the game but we are looking at the bigger picture of securing a semi-final playoff slot in our push for Kenya Cup promotion. We want to avoid injuries and any mistakes ahead of our three remaining fixtures which are crucial,” the university's coach Ochieng Ahaya said.
Former Enterprise Cup champions KCB will be at home against Strathmore Leos while last year’s silver medalists Impala Saracens host University of Nairobi’s Mean Machine at the Impala Club.
Kenya Harlequin host Homeboyz at the RFUEA ground in what will be a repeat of last weekend’s Kenya Cup tie which the Deejays won 48-3.
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