Kabras Sugar head to a crucial three-week period that will define their season as far as winning titles is concerned.
They have Kenya Cup semis on Saturday May 11, followed by a possible final on May 18 if they beat Mwamba and Enterprise Cup final on May 25.
Their second string side too has ESS semifinal against Homeboyz II, a possible final on May 18 and Mwamba Cup final against Strathmore II on May 25.
In three weeks, they could win four trophies but in between that stands, Mwamba, Leos, Homeboyz, Impala and KCB/Quins. The other possibility is they could lose everything. Or fail to win the big one, Kenya Cup.
Kabras are yet to win a major 15s trophy since 2016 when they won the Kenya Cup despite heavy investment that has seen recruitment of players from as far as Fiji, South Africa, Uganda and from rival Kenya Cup side.
Current Kenya Harlequin coach Charles Cardovillis led Kabras Sugar to the national sevens circuit title in 2017 but fell short in the Kenya Cup final to KCB.
First on the line to Kabras Sugar’s journey to a possible four trophies is Mwamba in the Kenya Cup semis. Head Coach Henley Du Plessis is aware of the threat to be posed by Kulabu.
"Mwamba will come at us,” he told Raga House after Saturday’s win over Quins in the Enterprise Cup semis.
"I think it’s the first time in six they(Mwamba) are in semis. They will come with everything. We will stick to what we’ve been doing. If we do our stuff 100% like against Quins things can be quite well.”
Mwamba started the season on a low losing their first four matches but picked up in the new year to not only reach the playoffs but also semis. Kenya 7s international Collins Injera is currently the top try scorer in the Kenya Cup, alongside Kabras winger Philip Wokorach.
"Now it’s about maintaining and looking after the players going into playoffs. You can’t overtrain guys now because the season is almost ending."
"So for me it’s just making sure that my players express themselves. We will not take it easy but minimize our work rate during the week.”
The South African was delighted to see his side beat Quins 11-54 at RFUEA, few weeks after beating them 3-21 in the Kenya Cup.
"The few weeks we had to rest did right to the team..I think our preps went well. We sticked to the gameplay and the discipline of the guys to stay in the game was great.”
Kabras will be happy they will not be facing KCB in the Enterprise Cup final. They have lost to KCB in the last three Kenya Cup finals they have met.
Du Plessis however expects Impala to pose a big challenge with the Ngong road set to be free for two Saturdays before facing Kabras.
"Impala is a dangerous team, if you give them a chance they will attack. Impala is also playing the same rugby we are playing and they are getting better and better and they are good in playoffs games. I think they were just unlucky last week to lose to Quins."
"We will not take them easy but we are now thinking about the Kenya Cup semis and move on.”
Kabras Sugar have lost only one match this season in all competitions- a thing Du Pleases is proud of but he would be more delighted if that was to be capped by trophies come May 18 and 25.
"You feel proud seeing them play like this. One thing is they stick to the plan. and execute the plan. I just want to say thank you to see boys. They are playing for themselves.”
This will be Kabras Sugar’s first home semifinal. Their previous four, consecutive, appearances have come on the road and won all of them.
In 2018 and 2017 they beat Homeboyz 13-29 and 17-22 respectively while on their way to win the title in 2016 they saw off Quins 15-19. In 2015, they saw of Top Fry Nakuru 15-12.
They went on to lose all three finals to KCB- all played in Nairobi.
A win over Mwamba will see Kabras host the Kenya Cup final which will definitely be an added advantage for the first time ever.