Unrelenting Western Bulls host Blak Blad in expected slippery conditions

By francis marangu
Mar 17, 2021
  • Unrelenting Western Bulls host Blak Blad as the two teams attempt to avoid the axe. (SNA. File Photo)

Expected wet conditions could have a big impact as Western Bulls host Blak Blad in a must-win Kenya Cup match for the two struggling sides.

With heavy rains pounding western parts of Kenya, both teams will be psychologically prepared for slowed tempo in the match at The Bull Ring in Kakamega.

Blak Blad left Nairobi on Friday morning with head coach Michael “Tank” Otieno saying they will try as much as possible to adapt to the wet conditions.

On the log, Western Bulls are 10th with 13 points and Blak Blad are 11th with 12. They have won two matches each and lost 12 but Western Bulls have collected five bonus points against four by Blak Blad.

In their last matches next weekend, Western Bulls will visit Kabras Sugar while Blak Blad will play away to Impala RFC.

“It is not easy beating Western Bulls at home but if we don't win, relegation becomes a reality,” Otieno told Sports News Arena. “We are aware of that and we will give it all our best.”

Western Bulls’ Howard Okwemba will stick to the usual match approach. He says they are not ready for the drop and the match has a big significance.

“We had a small talk with the boys concerning the situation we are in. They understand what is needed of them at this point,” he said noting there is a general feeling to salvage their top-tier status.

“Talking to the players and looking at the way they are training, there is nothing to show they have given up on the fight to remain in the league. They are committed to fight until the last minute.”

Staying alive for the entire period

Okwemba admits the main challenge for his team has been staying alive for the entire period of a match but hopes for some change against Blak Blad.

“In terms of physicality, they are very physical and have good understanding of the game. They have been playing hard but can't hold up for 80 minutes.”

Fly half Levy Amunga, backrow Wesley Kidinga and winger Moses Begi are the key players for Blak Blad. They have all made the crucial trip.

Bottom side Mean Machine will be away to Nondescripts RUFC and a win will add a big twist going to the final day of action.

A resolve by Mean Machine to survive the chop has been evident in their recent match results. After picking up a bonus point in their 15-17 loss to Kenya Harlequin FC, they went on to beat Strathmore University 26-5 for their second win of the season last weekend.

A win against Nondies is a big possibility. Nondies have owned eighth spot on the log having gone for three matches winless in their last outings.

From the lower end, Nondies have beaten Strathmore 31-12, Western Bulls 30-18 and Blak Blad 30-12 all at Jamhuri Park.

Mean Machine walks to the Park this weekend with the sole mission of upsetting their host. Will they do it better than their basement partners?

Nondies are lining up some of their best arsenal to attack the University of Nairobi side.

Sinei recalled

Center Fielden Sinei, a former Mean Machine player has been recalled to the starting lineup and will captain the side as well as partner Teddy Salano at the midfield.

Charles Kanyi and Biko Adema will partner at halfback with Ben Nyambu starting at backrow.

At the top of the table, Quins host Kenya Commercial Bank as the two teams fight for the second spot. Currently, Quins are second on 58 points while KCB are two points behind.

Ginton Adongo who arrived from Strathmore in mid-season has commanded a place in the Quins’ starting lineup.

Against KCB, he is expected to start at the right wing beating Pius Shiundu to the bench.

Quins will be driven by the midfield partnership of Patrice Agunda and David Ambunya, the second row pair of Wilson K’Opondo and Tony Mutai with Isaac Adimo starting at flyhalf and Kevin Keegan at fullback.

Log leaders Homeboyz are just a point clear at the top and will have a big away fixture to Nakuru RFC while Kabras Sugar host Impala RFC. Mwamba RFC will play away to Strathmore.

Fixtures

Kabras Sugar v Impala RFC (Kakamega Showground, 4 p.m.), Quins v KCB (RFUEA, 4 p.m.), Nakuru RFC v Homeboyz RFC (Nakuru Athletic Club, 4 p.m.), Strathmore University v Mwamba RFC (Jamhuri Park, 2 p.m.), Western Bulls v Blak Blad (The Bull Ring, 4 p.m.), Nondescripts v Mean Machine (Jamhuri Park, 4 p.m.).