Ogot eyes a playoff place with Kabras

By francis marangu
Mar 11, 2017
  • Anthony Ogot, the Kabras player-coach explained the departure of coach Mike Bishop is has not affected the performance. (SNA. File Photo)

Anthony Ogot, the Kabras Sugar stand-in coach wants his players to take up the challenge seriously as the Kenya Cup playoffs approach.

The sugar millers have been without a substantive head coach since departure of Mike Bishop but Ogot has assured all is well. He has been in charge doubling up as a player as well.

Currently, they are fifth on the log with 45 points and have lost three matches to KCB, Homeboyz RFC and Nakuru RFC. Ogot notes that absence of a coach is not to blame for their performance but players must step up in the remaining matches.

“They have to challenge themselves. They know what they can do and where they are heading to. Coaches do their bit and they can't be on the pitch.”

Kabras hosts to Kenya Harlequin FC on Saturday and welcomes Impala next weekend. With two tough matches lined up and only two wins separating them from seventh-placed Mwamba RFC, Kabras has to get maximum points from their remaining matches all at home.

They will play Western Bulls in the last match with a “Kakamega derby” the best way to close their regular season. Ogot draws inspiration from the last two seasons that Kabras has been a finalist.

“We have never been fifth before playoffs but have played in the finals for the past two seasons. As long as we are in the playoffs, we will fight it from there,” he noted.

“Every team plays to win but the one that makes many mistakes losses out. That is what has cost us but we have worked on the mistakes.”

Quins have fallen to third place but are tied on 54 points with second-placed Homeboyz and a point below leaders KCB.

Best players to Kakamega

They will be carrying their best players to Kakamega including fullback Kevin Keegan, centers David Ambunya and Patrice Agunda, captain Tony Mutai, flyhalf Isaac Adimo and returning lock Wilson K’Opondo.

The fight for top two slots is becoming tougher by the day and results from this weekend fixtures could have significant changes. Impala will host KCB in another high-stake match.

George Gichure will start in place of Curtis Lilako at KCB’s frontrow while Essau Otieno will play as flyhalf with Ahmed Shaban starting from the bench. Up to 10 changes have been made to the Impala squad.

In the standout change, captain Duncan Ekasi makes a return to the starting lineup after warming the bench in the last few matches. He will start at backrow while Nato Simiyu returns to flyhalf in a positional change to partner samson Onsomu at halfback.

Mwamba will host Nondescripts RUFC and hope the final result maintains their playoffs push alive. Even though they are currently outside the playoffs bracket, Mwamba are still hopeful of qualifying.

They are pressuring Nakuru RFC with every passing match. Mwamba goes to this weekend only two points shy of Nakuru who play away to Blak Blad.

Their standout player Geoffrey Ominde is available and will start at flyhalf. Blak Blad’s Wesley Kidinga, Levy Amunga and Moses Begi are all available for the match. Strathmore University has moved their home match against Mean Machine to KCB Sports Club in Ruaraka.

Fireworks are expected from this match as a fired-up Mean Machine face a determined Strathmore who are now five points above the relegation zone. Western Bulls will host Homeboyz RFC in Kakamega.

Fixtures: Kabras Sugar v Quins (Kakamega Showground, 4 p.m.), Western Bulls v Homeboyz (The Bullring, 4 p.m.), Mwamba v Nondescripts (Nairobi Railway Club, 4 p.m.), Impala v KCB (Impala Club, 4 p.m.), Blak Blad v Nakuru (Kenyatta University, 4 p.m.), Strathmore University v Mean Machine (KCB Sports Club Ruaraka, 4 p.m.).