By Juma Pondamali
Three points separate sixth placed Strathmore Leos (25 points) from seventh placed Top Fry Nakuru (22 points) as the quest for the last Kenya Cup playoff slot goes down to the wire with the last round of action in the competition’s league phase on Saturday 3 March 2018.
The two sides face intriguing fixtures. The Leos host Menengai Cream Homeboyz in Madaraka looking to beat the deejays. Victory for the Leos will cement sixth place but more important see them return to the post season for the first time since the 24-21 semifinal loss to KCB during the 2014/15 season.
In the event that they do lose to semifinal chasing Homeboyz, they would need to accumulate two bonus points by scoring four tries and losing by seven or less points. This would give them 27 points, a tally that can be equalled by Nakuru in the event that they do register a bonus point win away to their hosts Stanbic Mwamba at the Nairobi Railway Club. This would call for the calculators to be brought out.
A win of any kind for Nakuru and no points whatsoever for Strathmore will see Nakuru accumulate 26 points, one more than the Leos and in the process securing a return to the playoffs after missing out last season. A win for Mwamba against Nakuru hands Strathmore playoff qualification.
Leaders and defending champions KCB host third place Resolution Impala Saracens at the KCB Sports Club. The bankers’ last Kenya Cup win over the Sarries came on Friday 12 December 2014 when they won 22-3 at the RFUEA Ground and they will be out to finally get one over their visitors as they seek to close out the regular season on a perfect note and mount a platform for the playoffs with a successful league title defense in mind. The Sarries are also through to the playoffs and will definitely be out to take their A game to Ruaraka.
Nondescripts’ playoff ambitions evaporated last weekend after the 24-11 loss away to Top Fry Nakuru and their clash at home to the already qualified SportPesa Quins at the Jamhuri Park is just but a formality as is the dead rubber encounter pitting the already relegated duo of Resolution Kisii and Regional Logistics Mombasa at the Gusii Stadium in Kisii.
Kenyatta University’s Blak Blad play at home to Kabras Sugar looking to sign off their season on a high while Kabras, vanquished 41-12 last weekend at KCB will certainly be out to use Saturday’s fixture as a platform to breathe life and confidence into their campaign as we head towards the most important part of the Kenya Cup season, the playoffs.
Match Day 11
Saturday 3 March 2018
Resolution Kisii v Regional Logistics Mombasa – Gusii Stadium
KCB v Resolution Impala Saracens – KCB Sports Club
Stanbic Mwamba v Top Fry Nakuru – Railway Club
Nondescripts v SportPesa Quins – Jamhuri Park
Strathmore Leos v Menengai Cream Homeboyz – Madaraka
Blak Blad v Kabras Sugar – Kenyatta University
Below are the league standings