2020 really has to be it. Kabras Sugar are tired of losing final after final after final.
Head Coach Henly Du Plessis, after a short training session at Kakamega Showground, says 2020 has to be the year they finally win the Kenya Cup for the first time since 2016.
Everyone connected to Kabras Sugar understands this season’s goal, Kenya Cup title or nothing!
“We are still stuck on winning the Kenya Cup,” says Du Plessis as the rest of the squad leave to have breakfast next to the gym.
“I think last year we did well, we ended up top of the log, home semifinal and final at home but in the last game our execution was not good. Ultimate goal when I signed my contract was to win the Kenya Cup.”
Kabras Sugar lost the 2017, 2018 and 2019 Kenya Cup finals to KCB, two of them in Nairobi and one in Kakamega but the main goal this season is to break the KCB hoodoo.
“We’ve looked at how we play. Every time you can’t play quick balls. The method that Kabras plays too was dominating in line outs and mauls but we’ve changed the mindset and see how we can change because people are picking on you. We are bringing new dimensions.”
“We’ve changed a few things on how we will approach the playoffs and hopefully it will work for us.”
“If I go for Kenya Cup it’s Kenya Cup, we need to get the title. 2016 is long time ago and we have a new group now that wants to show they can be in the same level like the guys in 2016.”
“Everybody is pushing for it this year, some guys are getting old, others are getting to the end of the season so they really need to do it before they stop playing.”
The 2016 champions have been firing from all cylinders this season winning 14 in 15 matches to lead the 16-team log on 70 points. The only defeat this season was against third placed Homeboyz RFC.
“The season is much better. Guys are in good mood. We’ve changed a few things on how we will approach the playoffs and hopefully it will work for us.”
There’s a high possibility Kabras will face either KCB or Homeboyz in the final if things go as their wish with the Deejayz being Kabras Sugar’s biggest worry now.
Homeboyz beat Kabras earlier in the season and Saturday’s match with KCB at Jamhuri Showground will determine who finishes second although KCB are almost assured as they'll need to lose by 68 points.
“Both of them are hard to face,” claims Du Plessis. “We know KCB here and there but Homeboyz is something new. (Hector) Jason is doing something good there, he’s changing the mindset. First year it happened with me too.”
“I’ll take anybody on the day but technically Homeboyz is going to be tougher than KCB.”
Kabras scrum-half and Kenyan international Brian Tanga shares Du Plessis’s sentiments saying it felt ‘good’ beating KCB for the first time this season.
“This season we are going all the way. Matches have been good and we are good to go. It felt very nice beating KCB this season. They are the only team that gives us headache in Kenya. It will be tough though when we meet them again.”
“Homeboyz have really improved and it could be a tough game, we just have to prepare well for them.”
Kabras have been in the Kenya Cup final since 2015, winning one and losing four. All four defeats have been against KCB with the only win coming over Impala Saracens in 2016 at a rain-soaked Impala club.