Kabras vs KCB: Players to watch in Kenya Cup final

Kabras vs Homeboyz in a scrum-contest. Photo Courtesy/ Joseph Likuyani for Kabras RFC
Kabras vs Homeboyz in a scrum-contest. Photo Courtesy/ Joseph Likuyani for Kabras RFC

The Kenya Cup final on Saturday 11 March 2023 between Kabras RFC and KCB at the Kakamega showground will mark their sixth final encounter in Kenya Cup.

The defending champions, Kabras, will be determined to retain the title they won last season, while KCB will be eager to reclaim the crown and secure their ninth title.

Although teamwork will undoubtedly be crucial in this high-stakes fixture, the contribution of individual players cannot be overlooked. With both teams possessing outstanding individual talents, it is highly possible that individual brilliance may prove to be the deciding factor in the game. Therefore, the performance of key players will be critical in determining the outcome of this eagerly anticipated encounter.

Heading to the clash, here are some of the players to watch:

Jone Kubu-Kabras

The Kenyan International originally from Fiji has proven to be a valuable asset to his team, especially in crucial moments. He played a pivotal role in Kabras’ first Kenya Cup triumph in 2016 and was the standout player in their 34-28 victory over Menengai Oilers in last season’s final.

During the regular season match against KCB, he once again showcased his exceptional skills, despite Kabras’ failure to capitalize on the offensive line-outs he won through the 50-22 rule. He scored two critical tries that helped secure a vital 29-23 win for Kabras.

This weekend, his exceptional kicking abilities for gaining territory and his playmaking skills will be essential to his team’s success. His opponents, KCB, will undoubtedly be determined to silence him and neutralize his impact in the upcoming match.

Ntabeni Dukisa- Kabras

Dukisa is a player renowned for his exceptional kicking skills, which have been a vital part of Kabras’ success thus far. He boasts an impressive success rate of between 80-100% when it comes to scoring points, and his ability to also score tries and control the game makes him a valuable asset for the team.

Although his performance in the 2021 final loss to KCB earned him the man of the match award, he did not perform to his full potential in the game against Oilers last season. However, in the crucial match against KCB three weeks ago, he, together with Kubu, played an instrumental role in dictating play, leading to their 29-23 victory.

As Kabras head into the final, every point will matter, and the club will be relying on Dukisa to replicate his best performance and utilize his exceptional kicking skills to secure victory.

George Nyambua-Kabras

He is a revered veteran and one of the most enduring members of the club, having served loyally for over a decade. Having graced the pitch in several critical fixtures, his comeback to the squad in January proved to be a much-needed boost.

With his exceptional leadership acumen and impregnable defensive skills, his presence on the field will be absolutely pivotal for the team’s chances in the upcoming match. Undoubtedly, his experience and expertise will be invaluable assets that the team will rely on heavily.

Darwin Mukidza- KCB

When Kabras finally broke their 10-match winless streak against KCB winning 19-6, Darwin Mukidza was absent. His first meeting after injury was in the subsequent game, where KCB lost 30-23. However, Mukidza produced an outstanding performance weeks later, helping spur a remarkable comeback that culminated in a crucial penalty, securing KCB’s fourth consecutive title and eighth overall.

As a fullback, Mukidza has been a standout performer for the bankers, playing an integral role in their impressive run from 2017 to 2021. His exceptional display in the semi-finals last weekend was further testament to his talent and experience, which are set to be invaluable assets as the team aims to reclaim the title. Mukidza’s leadership and impressive skills make him a critical factor in the team’s quest for victory, and his contributions will be highly anticipated.

Samuel Asati- KCB

Despite the presence of Michael Wanjala, who has previously tormented Kabras, Asati has been able to retain his position as the team’s number nine. Wanjala has been slowly introduced to the team after a recent injury, allowing the diminutive scrum-half to shine. In 2022, he gained invaluable international experience, starting in most of Kenya Simbas matches, and even went on to win two man of the match awards in the Rugby Africa Cup.

In the local league, the scrum-half has been an ever-present force for the team, and KCB will undoubtedly be relying on him to deliver. His impressive performances and recently acquired international experience have made him an integral part of the team, and there’s no doubt that he will be a critical factor in KCB’s success.

Elvis Olukusi- KCB

Olukusi has become a regular for the bankers this season. The former Nakuru RFC player has demonstrated his commitment to the team’s success. Olukusi will be key in helping the side in securing vital balls for his team and disrupting those of his opponents.

Moreover, his operation in the second row will be expected to be outstanding. As the team prepares for upcoming fixtures, Olukusi will undoubtedly be a key player to watch and will be expected to continue to play a pivotal role in KCB’s quest for victory.

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