KCB captain Curtis Lilako is confident they will maintain their perfect start to the 2021 Kenya Cup campaign when they travel to play rivals Kabras Sugar at Nandi Bears Club on Saturday.
The defending champions will be seeking to maintain their unbeaten run in the crucial fixture that will not only be important in terms of points won but also vital in determining who will host the Kenya Cup final.
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.
Meanwhile, KCB has been boosted by the return of their four key players who were representing Kenya at the ongoing Tokyo Olympic Games.
Fresh from a ninth place finish at the Olympics, Kenya 7s captain Andrew Amonde, Jacob Ojee and Vincent Onyala are back to the starting lineup while Johnstone Olindi is on the bench.
Oscar Simiyu, Griffin Musila, Curtis Lilako will start at the front row with Amonde joining Steve Wamai and Davis Chenge at the back row. Francis Mwita, Michael Wanjala, Peter Kilonzo, Onyala, Ojee, Isaac Njoroge and Darwin Mukidza are also in the team.
KCB Rugby: 1.Oscar Simiyu 2. Griffin Musila 3. Curtis Lilako 4. Francis Mwita 5. Oliver Mang’eni 6. Steve Wamai 7. Andrew Amonde 8. Davis Chenge 9. Michael Wanjala 10. Smith Muhoya 11. Jacob Ojee 12. Peter Kilonzo 13. Vincent Onyala 14. Darwin Mukidza 15. Isaac Njoroge
Replacements: 16. Wilfred Waswa 17. Patrick Ouko 18. Nelson Nyandat 19. Peter Waitere 20. Felix Ojoo 21. Samuel Asati 22. Esau Otieno 23. Johnstone Olindi