Kenyan rugby action resumes on Saturday 7th January 2012 following the Christmas and New Year’s break.
Second placed KCB are at home to visiting Nakuru RFC in what should be a close encounter. Both sides have had solid starts to the season ,KCB boasting of the league’s only unbeaten record, having won all three of their league outings to date while Nakuru lie third, with two wins and one defeat from three outings.
KCB have ground out wins against Homeboyz, Strathmore and Nondies. Nakuru poses their biggest challenge yet.  Previous encounters between these two sides have been very passionate affairs that have elicited interesting results and reactions from players and fans alike and Saturday’s match up is largely expected to live up to that billing.
Other fixtures
Impala RFC (5) v Mwamba RFC (1)
Impala Club, Ngong Road
Currently placed fifth, Impala RFC who have not had the best of starts to a season, losing two of their opening three fixtures to date play host to table topping Mwamba RFC at the Impala Club. The red shirts come into this fixture seeking to buck the trend and a win over Mwamba will not only recharge the home side but also serve as a form of revenge. It will be recalled that Mwamba beat Impala 31-22 in last year’s post festive season Kenya Cup clash and this fixture should be a lively one, serving up a new year’s gift to many a rugby fan.
Mean Machine (10) v Strathmore Leos (4)
University of Nairobi Grounds, off Uhuru Highway
It’s the battle of the varsities as the University of Nairobi’s Mean Machine RFC play host to the Leos of Strathmore University. These sides met on October 29, 2011, Machine coming out on top with a 17-0 win that saw them lift the 30th Impala Floodlit title. They would again meet during the semi finals of the KUSA National University Championships, Strathmore running off with a 10-5 result.
A lot of water has since passed under the bridge, the two sides starting the Kenya Cup in contrasting fashion. The Leos are placed fourth on the log, courtesy of two wins and a defeat. They claimed the scalp of former champions Impala RFC, registering a 6-5 result on match day two. In short, Strathmore have had a good start to the season and will seek to maintain this run against a Machine side that are propped at the basement of the league courtesy of two losses.
As always, matches between these two sides have been close contests and Saturday’s fixture should be no different.
Kenya Harlequin FC (6) v Nondescript RUFC (9)
RFUEA Grounds, Ngong Road
Reigning league champions Kenya Harlequin FC find themselves in unfamiliar territory, placed sixth with a win and a loss from their two fixtures played. Their outing ended in a 12-5 defeat to newly promoted Homeboyz on Saturday 10th December 2011 and the quartered shirts will be out to bounce back. Their clash against second from bottom Nondies provides the perfect stage for Quins to launch their season’s turnaround as they seek to join the illustrious club of teams that have won the Kenya Cup three years in a row.
Nondies were no slouches during their 25-15 loss to KCB on Saturday 17th December 2011 and Kanyi Gitonga’s charges will be out to build on the positives from that encounter and register their first win of the season. Saturday provides the perfect opportunity.
Kisumu RFC (8) v Homeboyz RFC (7)
Moi Stadium,Kisumu
Hosts Kisumu RFC renew their rivalry with Homeboyz RFC, one that started in the Eric Shirley Shield  in during the 2010 season when the Nairobi based outfit dominated them en route to lift the second division title.
Both sides are now playing in the big league and Saturday’s encounter in Kisumu adds another instalment to this fledgling rivalry.  The Arthur Shikwe coached side lie eighth in the league, with one win and two defeats from three outings, their only win coming courtesy of that 32-5 bonus point result against Mean Machine on Saturday 10th December 2011. While they would succumb to a 64-8 loss to Mwamba the following weekend, Kisumu come into this tie seeking to register their second win of the season but Homeboyz will be no pushovers.  They narrowly lost 22-17 to KCB on match day two before stunning champions Quins 12-5 on match day three.
That Kisumu will be playing at home against a side they can term as contemporaries is enough motivation for an exciting game of rugby in the Lake side city.
Collated Kenya Cup Fixtures
Saturday 7 January 2012
Impala v Mwamba
Machine v Strathmore
Quins v Nondies
KCB v Nakuru
Kisumu v Homeboyz
ERIC SHIRLEY SHIELD
Western Bulls  lead the Eric Shirley Shield going into Saturday’s fixtures, winning all three of their encounters to date with bonus point results, garnering fifteen points. They play host to Homeboyz II in Kisumu seeking to make it four wins from four.
Their closest rivals, KCB II, are also unbeaten but are two points adrift of the Bulls. They have a tricky encounter against a Nakuru II side who have two wins and a loss from three outings.
Machine II v Strathmore II, the first instalment of the varsities battle on Saturday should be another close contest .
Mwamba II are also enjoying themselves, placed third and an encounter against former E.S.S champions Impala II is on the cards for them. For Impala II, an unfamiliar eighth placing in the E.S.S should be motivation for the Bucks to rise to Mwamba’s challenge and get their season back on track.
Unbeaten Quins II play Nondies II looking to make it three wins out of three.
Collated Eric Shirley Shield Fixtures
Saturday 7 January 2012
Western Bulls v Homeboyz II
Machine II v Strathmore II
Quins II v Nondies II
KCB II v Nakuru II
Impala II v Mwamba II

 

 

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