C Photo by Brian Ayieko
Championship preview: round one
By Dennis Gatuha | Wed 22 Nov, 2017 09:42

KRU Championship, the second tier 15s league, enters its second season this Saturday with six matches on the cards.

Mean Machine and Western Bulls will take part in the 12-team competition after been relegated from the Kenya Cup as will Menengai Oilers, Ngong RFC and Egerton Wasps, all promoted from the Nationwide league.

Below is the preview.

Catholic Monks vs Mean Machine -Catholic Uni Grounds.

Three time Kenya Cup champions Mean Machine start life in the Championship with a visit to fellow students Catholic Monks.

Both sides head into this match off the back of some solid pre season: Machine finished fourth at the Impala Floodies while Monks was losing finalists of the University category of the same tourney.

Monks will be heavily reliant on the no.8 Boniface Amimo, the Floodies MVP, halfback duo of Caleb Kiprotich and Foster Arens, Reginald Mosagwe and Jonny Isalambo among others while the talismanic Renee Inyanga and Alfred Orege will pull the strings for Eschuma.

The last time the two meet in a fifteens match was in the Kenya Cup  2014/15 season and Machine were 17-5 victors on that occasion.

University of Eldoret vs Menengai Oilers -UOE Grounds

Menengai Oilers has surpassed the expectations of many since it's formation more than a year ago.

The Gibson Weru charges are yet to lose a single fifteens match ( they were unbeaten in the last two editions of Floodies as well as the Nationwide last season) and they will be out to extend this immaculate run when they travel to Eldoret.

Their opponents were dismal last season, finishing eighth in the then ten-team competition and they will be aiming to improve this season lest they slip back to the Nationwide.

Oilers are likely to be without skipper Harold Anduvate and Sam Muregi, who have been incorporated into the national sevens set up but that is unlikely to hamper their odds on Saturday.

SC Pirates vs JKUAT Cougars -Ukunda

These two sides were in contrasting form last season, SC pirates went all the way to the quarter finals while JKUAT were ranked ninth out of ten, escaping relegation by the skin of their teeth.

The first leg ended 3-all but Pirates were 32-3 winners in the return leg.

 Will the script be the same or will the tables turn?

Kisumu RFC vs Western Bulls -Kisumu Grounds

Western Bulls will make their maiden appearance in the Championship when they travel to last season's quarter finalists Kisumu RFC.

Both sides have played at the elite level-Kenya Cup-will be seeking to return there; a win for either on the opening round will enhance their chances.

If Kisumu are to win this they'll have to device ways on containing the likes of Duncan Abuyeka, Chrispin Shitundo, Issac Wafula and Treasure Odundo.

Moi University vs Egerton University -Moi Uni

The nemesis  will get an opportunity to resuscitate their rivalry, this time in the Championship and not the usual Rift Valley Nationwide League.

A win is paramount for Wasps if they are to establish themselves as a real force in the second division while Moi will be aiming to bounce back from a torrid season that saw them finish three slots from the bottom.

Past encounters favour Egerton but this one is likely to be a closely contested one.

Ngong RFC vs USIU -Kibiko

USIU missed out on Kenya Cup promotion by a paltry three points and will be out to ensure that doesn't happen this season. On their side, Ngong took the longest route to promotion and will also be out to make it count.

Ngong will have to look out for the likes of the effervescent Charles Kuka, Eluid Mulakole, Martin Juma and Derrick Obiero if they are to emerge with points from this one.

All matches kick off at 4:00pm

Dennis Gatuha
Once aspired to be a rugby player. Now writes about rugby players.
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