USIU’s Trojans are targeting to return to Kenya Cup after 11 years in the cold.
However, the students must overcome Western Bulls in today’s (Saturday) semifinals at USIU grounds.
In the second semi, Catholic Monks are hoping to use home ground advantage when they host Silverstone Kisumu RFC at the Catholic University of East Africa grounds in Langata at 3 pm.
USIU coach Dennis Mwanja yesterday said his team is confident and ready to face Bulls. USIU is unbeaten at home and only drew 8-8 with Kisii RFC.
“We respect Bulls but our target is to win the game and return to Kenya. We know our opponents are a good side having reached the semis,” added Mwanja.
He, however, said the game will not be easy and will be won by the team that makes fewer mistakes. “We expect a good rugby game from the two teams. I hope the weather will be friendly,” he added.
His Bulls counterpart, Bram Shikanda, also said the game against USIU will be a tough one.
“USIU have improved. We narrowly beat them 13-6 in the regular season and we hope to complete a double on them. The best team will win and I hope that team will be Bulls,” added Shikanda.
Shikanda has a fully fit squad and promised to put USIU under pressure in the first half.
Kisumu’s Howard Okwemba welcomes second-row pair Denver Audo and William Ojiayo for their encounter against Monks, hoping to return to Kenya Cup after three seasons in the second tier league.
“We expect a closely contested match against Monks. We lost to them in the regular season but we hope to avenge that defeat and return to Kenya Cup,” he added.
Catholic Monks and USIU finished first and second respectively in the regular season to earn direct home semifinals slots.
Kisumu progressed to the semifinal after beating Masinde Murilo University of Science and Technology 26-8 at Mamboleo ASK Show Ground while Bulls received a walkover after Mombasa failed to show up.
The winners of the two semi-finals will qualify to Kenya Cup to replace Mean Machine and Strathmore Leos.
In the Nationwide national finals, Northern Suburbs will host Eldoret RFC at the Catholic University of East Africa as from 1 pm.
The two teams have already qualified to the KRU Championship to replace Ngong Warriors and Kitale RFC which were relegated.