After seven rounds of the Kenya Cup some familiar names are at the top in Kenya Harlequin FC and Impala RFC, the pundits have been pleasantly surprised by Mwamba’s strong showing that sees them third on the log and baffled by Nakuru’s losing six out of seven games.
Here's a mid term review of the Kenya Cup clubs who start a month’s recess to concentrate on the Christmas and New Year festivities( just kidding…to concentrate on better second leg performances...)
HOW THEY STAND
KENYA HARLEQUIN FC - 1st
Form: Calling a spade a spade, Quins have been very solid thus far. They have gained an edge on rivals, registering seven wins from seven matches.
This is seventh heaven for the defending league champions. They have played some effective, sometimes adventurous rugby to please spectators and pundits.
While a cross section of fans, pundits and critics may dislike use of the reference “Mighty Quins”, let’s put club loyalties and personal differences aside, let us be real…seven out of seven speaks for itself…
High Point: A win against Impala on match day eight. The 33-13 bonus point win was a comprehensive result that saw them shatter their great rivals unbeaten run.
IMPALA RFC - 2nd
Form: The Gazelles have been equally solid. The league’s highest scorers breezed past their opponents when the opportunity presented itself and ground out victories where necessary. They were in pole position for the opening six weeks before taking their foot off the gas pedal, allowing Quins to overtake them.
All is not lost, this year’s Kenya Cup campaign is only at the halfway stage. Impala have it in them to regroup and come back stronger when the league resumes on Saturday 8th January 2011. They have averaged thirty eight points per match. They have shown that they have the firepower. Now, combine this with the right frame of mind and they could just push Quins all the way.
High Point: Despite registering high scores in their 64-5 and 72-0 routs of Mwamba and Strathmore respectively, Impala’s high point would have to be the 33-21 win over Nondescript RUFC on match day five. Missing eleven first team squad members, the Gazelles managed to pull off a bonus point victory over their hosts who had gone into this match fancying the Impala scalp. This result was a manifestation of their depth and character, just some of the qualities needed to challenge for the title.
Low Point: Losing to Quins on match day seven.
MWAMBA RFC -3rd
Form: Five wins and two losses from seven matches have lifted Kulabu to their highest league position in years. They have been competitive thus far, claiming a big scalp in the 22-17 win over Kenya Commercial Bank RFC on match day two. Defeats at Impala and Quins highlighted frailties in defense.
High point: Without a doubt it would have to be their 22-17 win over Kenya Commercial Bank on match day two. Kulabu scored four tries, picking up a bonus point. This result surely lifted them after the depression of losing 64-5 to Impala on match day one.
Low point: Their 64-5 loss against Impala on match day one.
KENYA COMMERCIAL BANK RFC-4th
Form: A slow start for the 2005, 2006 and 2007 champions, are they able to recover? They regrouped from that shock loss to Mwamba on match day two to register four successive wins, only to falter to agonizingly close defeats at the hands of Impala and Quins. Never out of the Kenya Cup top three since 2002, KCB find themselves in the unfamiliar fourth position. They will have to roar into fifth gear when the second leg kicks off in January.
High Point: KCB’s high point would have to be their 30-24 loss to Quins. Let us for a minute ignore the result and look at the manner in which they approached the game. They took the game to Quins, matching the league champions’ strength for strength and were actually leading with a few seconds left on the ticker before a lapse in concentration saw them let go of the game. It was a vintage display from the KCB forwards who had Quins on the ropes. More displays of a similar nature could see them rise up the ranks.
Low Point: The 22-17 loss to Mwamba RFC on match day two.
NONDESCRIPT RUFC- 5th
Form: Inconsistent. Three wins and four defeats from seven matches tells their story. With the quality of players in their ranks, Nondies should actually be in touch with the leading pack. Maybe things will turn around during the second leg.
High point: The 15-10 win over Nakuru RFC at the Nakuru Athletic Club on match day one. It was a splendid start to their 2010/2011 league campaign.
Low Point: The inability to defeat a depleted Impala RFC side on match day five.
STRATHMORE LEOS- 6th
Form: After scaling great heights to place second on the Kenya Cup log courtesy of two wins on the trot, the manner of Strathmore’s capitulation which has seen them succumb to five straight losses and a massive tumble to sixth on the log is quite worrying.
High Point: The 29-10 win away to Nakuru RFC on match day two. It highlighted how far the one-time Eric Shirley Shield side has come in just under seven years of investment and support by Strathmore University.
Low Point: The Leos started brightly against Mwamba on match day nine, racing to a 21-10 lead before conceding soft tries in the latter stages of the second half, going down to a 32-21 defeat.
NAKURU RFC- 7th
Form: Consistently amongst the top four in previous years, Nakuru RFC inexplicably find themselves second from bottom. They have been unable to register a win, their best result coming in the 5-5 draw against fellow cellar dwellers Mean Machine RFC.
High Point: Running Quins close in the 20-27 home defeat on match day eight.
Low Point: It would probably have to be the 10-29 home defeat at the hands of Strathmore on match day two. They conceded four tries on the day, allowing the Leos to run off with the bonus.
MEAN MACHINE- 8th
Form: Disappointing. The varsity lads prop the Kenya Cup league table from the rear, staring relegation in the face. Player unavailability in their opening fixtures may have contributed to this situation and one can only hope for a much better showing come the second leg.
High Point: Their 20-10 loss to Quins on match day six. The students were a constant thorn in the league champions’ flesh. It was a battling display from Machine.
Low Point: Conceding a converted try at the death while leading Nondies 13-7 on match day nine.They lost the game 14-13.
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