Sammy Oliech returns as Impala host Nakuru

By francis marangu
Jan 23, 2022
  • Impala and Nakuru meet in a return Kenya Cup matchwhich will be relayed live by Zuku Sport. Impala won the first leg in Nakuru.

Fullback Sammy Oliech will make his first start for Impala RFC this season when they host Nakuru RFC in a Kenya Cup return match at Impala Club on Saturday.

Oliech had personal commitments locking him out of action in the opening seven rounds. He comes back at a time when Impala enjoys a four-point lead at the top of the log with 31 points.

George Okowa was fielded in the same position while he was away will start from the bench. Center Robert Aringo also returns since playing in their opening match against Kenya Harlequin FC.

He has not featured for Impala because he has been with the Kenya Sevens team and played in the opening two legs of the World Rugby Sevens World Series Dubai and Cape Town. Stephen Juma who has largely featured in the Eric Shirley Shield league this season will start at prop ahead of Hosea Ngesa.

Lock Davies Makori and flanker Daniel Abok return to the starting lineup as well. 

Nakuru are fourth with 25 points. Head coach Dominique Habimana has made only two changes to the team that beat Western Bulls 37-13 last weekend.

Flanker Dalmus Chituyi will replace Mike Okombe in the forwards while winger Larry Safari replaces George Adongo in the backs.

There will be an interesting matchup at the half-backs which could decide the match outcome. Here, Nakuru's Geoffrey Ominde and Martin Muita come up against Samson Onsomu and Nato Simiyu for Impala.

Back row is another position where there could be intense competition. Lawrence Buyachi who had a stint at Impala comes up against Duncan Ekasi the Impala captain. The match that kicks off at 4 p.m. will be screened live on Zuku Sport.

Mwamba host champions KCB

At Nairobi Railway Club, Mwamba RFC welcome champions Kenya Commercial Bank who are winless this year. With two losses and a draw so far, KCB has managed to maintain its hold in the top three with 26 points having collected more bonus points than matches played.

They play a resurgent Mwamba who are in high spirits after back-to-back wins over Strathmore University, Thika RFC and Bungoma Sharks.

Second-placed Quins have a seemingly easy outing against Blak Blad as they chase leaders Impala.  Quins comes to the match off a 20-14 win over KCB last weekend while Blak Blad was beaten 62-0 by Strathmore. In the first leg tie played at RFUEA ground in December, Quins won 57-12 win.

Captain Tony Mutai returns to the team as part of nine changes made by head coach Joel Ng’ang’a.

Kevin Keegan, William Mawira, Patrice Agunda, Max Theuri and Herman Humwa have all been rested with Frank Wanyama, Lyle Asiligwa, Bernard Nyambok, Brian Okwomi and Hosea Odhiambo starting.

After their last-minute 28-29 loss to Homeboyz last weekend, Kabras Sugar face another stern test at home when they host Strathmore University.

Thika and Bungoma who are still searching for their first wins will play Western Bulls and Nondescript RUFC respectively. Elsewhere, Homeboyz RFC face Mean Machine.

Weekend Fixtures

Mean Machine v Homeboyz (2 p.m, Impala Club), Impala v Nakuru (4 p.m., Impala Club), Mwamba v KCB (4 p.m., Nairobi Railway Club), Thika v Western Bulls (4 p.m., Thika Stadium), Bungoma Sharks v Nondescripts (4 p.m., Bungoma), Blak Blad v Kenya Harlequin (4 p.m., Kenyatta University), Kabras Sugar v Strathmore (4 p.m., Kakamega).