Changes galore as Impala Floodlit enters semis
- Prop Curtis Lilako, who gets him armband back, and Oscar Salano come in to replace Patrick Ouko and Nelson Nyandat
- Oilers head coach Gibson Weru will also play Edwin Mwaura and Ian Omoke ahead of Emmanuel Mula and Kevin Juma respectively
- Weru said they are out to stamp their dominance over Quins, having beaten them 14-8 in Nakuru before forcing a 22-22 stalemate in Kenya Cup last year
Defending champions Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), Homeboyz, Kenya Harlequin and Menengai Oilers have made key changes ahead of their Impala Floodlit semi-final duels at Impala Sports Club on Saturday.
KCB have made six changes as they prepare to face Homeboyz, who have five changes while Oilers and Quins have effected four changes each ahead of their battle.
Hooker George Asin, who has healed from a meniscus surgery, is set to make a return for KCB after eight months, but on the bench where he is set to come in for Griffin Musila.
Prop Curtis Lilako, who gets him armband back, and Oscar Salano come in to replace Patrick Ouko and Nelson Nyandat, who played in the side that beat Blak Blad 53-15 in the semi-final last weekend.
Deputy coach Dennis “Ironman” Mwanja indicated that winger Mike Kimwele and forwards Nick Ongeri, Davies Chenge, Steve Wamae have also replaced Tony Onyango and Francis Mwita, Martin Owilah and James Ochieng respectively.
Homeboyz head coach Hector Jason has brought in Zeden Marrow to replace Henry Ayah at centre with the latter moving to fly-half to replace Evin Asena, who moves to the bench.
Hooker Aaron Khalechi is set to start ahead of Bruce Shiemi, who goes to the bench while Emmanuel Silungi comes in at second-row for Polycarp Odhiambo while Roy Wesonga has replaced Brian Kitiva at flanker. Homeboyz bundled out Nondescripts 23-14 last weekend.
Oilers, who stunned hosts Impala Saracens 26-23 last weekend, have brought in Samuel Weru for injured lock Emmanuel Odera. Weru will partner with Edwin Abungana, who has replaced Ibram Oyoo.
Oilers head coach Gibson Weru will also play Edwin Mwaura and Ian Omoke ahead of Emmanuel Mula and Kevin Juma respectively.
Quins will be without experienced Patrice Agunda, who sustained a knock against Nakuru, who they beat 19-14 last weekend. Head coach Dominque Habimana has tossed in Jacob Okumba for Agunda as he swapped Melvin Thairu and Nzioka Muema at prop.
KCB are chasing their eighth Cup success having won the Floodlit event for the last two years. “We expect a highly physical duel but Homeboyz have been able to spread the ball wide of late,” said Mwanja. “We just have to be ruthless at the breakdowns and take our opportunities.”
Weru said they are out to stamp their dominance over Quins, having beaten them 14-8 in Nakuru before forcing a 22-22 stalemate in Kenya Cup last year. “Quins is a good and experienced side but we have prepared well,” said Weru. Oilers are chasing their maiden Floodlit title while Quins have won it thrice with their last success coming in 1998.
Habimana reckons that Oilers have been a good side, having worked with most of the players when he was still coaching Nakuru. “Oilers are amazing group of players and I am happy Weru has brought them up well,” said Habimana. “However, it will be a good opportunity for both teams and we should expect a good match.”