There will be plenty more at stake than just league points when hosts three-time finalists Kabras Sugar renew their rivalry with defending champions KCB in a top of the table match slated to be played at Nandi Bears Club in Nandi today.
A win for either side will automatically stump their bid to host the Kenya Cup final at the end of the season.
According to Kenya Rugby Union, the Kenya Cup final will be hosted by the highest ranked team at the end of the regular season.
A win for Kabras backed up by wins in their remaining fixtures will assure them of hosting the final. The same applies for KCB.
Both sides have been a cut above the rest this season, with both teams still unbeaten as the Kenya Cup league heads into its business end.
However, for KCB captain Curtis Lilako, tackling each match at a time is their main objective rather than anticipating about the finals.
The bankers are eight-points clear atop the standings with 38 points followed by Kabras in second with 30 points but with two games in hand.
Speaking to the Standard Sports, Lilako said they are ready to face their greatest opponents in the league after preparing well over the week.
“The hard work we have put in throughout the season has helped us be at the top. We will stick to our game plan and all the preparations we have made in the match,” said the 31-year-old prop.
Lilako further explained that playing in Nandi and not Kakamega will not do any favors for them with the sugar millers deprived of their home advantage.
“We are not looking for any edge. The pitch we play in does not affect what we have prepared for. We are focusing on the match and not the venue,” said the four-time Kenya Cup champion.
Both teams are locked in a neck and neck battle not only in the league but also in the battle for individual accolades with Kabras’s scrum half Brian Tanga leading in the tries chart with seven tries while KCB captain Lilako comes second with six tries in the league so far.
KCB and Kabras have met in four Kenya Cup finals with the bankers emerging top in all four meetings.
Kabras has beaten KCB once since their promotion in 2014, winning 19-6 at the den last season.
At the same grounds, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST RFC) will host Kenyatta University’s Blak Blad in the university derby.
MMUST are two points above Blak Blad and they will be eying their third win of the season against the Nairobi based students who have been struggling this season.
In Nairobi, a double header will be on the cards at the Rugby Football Union of East Africa (RFUEA) grounds as Nondies play Impala in the early kick off match before Kenya Harlequin entertain Mwamba.
Kenya Cup Fixtures
Masinde Muliro v Blak Blad -1pm, Nandi Bears.
Nondescripts v Resolution Impala Saracens – 1pm, RFUEA
Kabras Sugar v KCB -3pm, Nandi Bears.
Kenya Harlequin v Mwamba -3pm, RFUEA