Kabras Sugar RFC head coach Henley Du Plessis said he expects his team to continue their tip-top form in the 2019-20 Kenya Cup campaign when they renew their rivalry with the defending champions Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) in Nairobi on Saturday.
In what is billed as an epic clash, KCB hope to extend their dominance over Kabras and inflict their first defeat on them while the millers will be out to break their winless jinx against the six-time champions.
Kabras are on top of Kenya Cup log with 25 points, same as the bankers but with a bigger goal difference of 226 points they amassed from their five wins where to average at 51 points a match.
And as was the case last season, it is Kabras who pose a threat in the fixture as they have dominated the leader board and Du Plessis is keen to keep the unbeaten record in their sixth match against the champions.
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The South African coach said KCB’s supremacy in their last 10 matches where the bankers have won nine against Kabras in the past four seasons will not dash their winning dreams.
“We have started the season on a high same as last season but with a different approach this year. The boys have been working on discipline which cost us the Kenya Cup title last year and I expect a tough match against the champions,” he said.
Du Plessis said his three new signings in Fijian duo of Timoci Sinaite and Avisai Kuruyawa, as well as South African utility back Ntabeni Dukisa, have injected some impetus that he relies on in his bid to stop the champions.
“Dukisa and Sinaite have hit the ground running and I expect them to perform better on Saturday. Their combination together with Tanga and Kubu seems to work and I believe their might will determine to depth of the match,” he added.
The former Boland Cavaliers forwards coach said they will not undermine Curtis Olago’s side might be without their key five players in Andrew Amonde, Jacob Ojee, Vincent Onyala, and Johnstone Olindi, saying their absence will not water down the tie.
“We are not going to play against individuals but KCB. They have a resourceful squad and I believe they will present a strong squad. We are training hard.”
Although history favors the bankers going into the match, KCB head coach Curtis Olago has refused to be caught in the hype saying he is patient and his charges are relaxed ahead of the clash against sugar millers.
KCB then found themselves trailing 14-8 during the half time of last weekend’s home fixture against Homeboyz before turning upsetting them in the second half to win 27-24 and Olago believes endurance will be quite helpful.
“A good fighting spirit helped us in our last game against Homeboyz as my players played well in the second half. We will employ the same skills against Kabras. I know they in top form but we don’t want to make mistakes as we will play against a new squad,” Olago said.
Kabras are yet to beat KCB in 10 previous encounters since earning promotion to the top tier league in 2014. They have only come close once in December 2016 after playing out a 15-15 draw at the Kakamega Showground.
KCB on the other hand, have won nine of the 10 matches played.