•KCB go into the finals as favourites having emerged winners against Kabras in all their previous finals encounters.
•Kabras Rugby coach Carlos Katywa and KCB’s assistant coach Dennis Mwanja anticipate a tough encounter.
Kenya Cup defending champions Kabras Sugar Rugby Club seek to defend their title Saturday as they confront bitter rivals KCB at Kakamega showground.
KCB go into the finals as favourites having emerged winners against Kabras in all their previous finals encounters. KCB head to the final having bagged 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021 titles against the cane millers.
Kabras are hosts by virtue of having been the highest-placed team at the end of the regular season. They won last year’s against Menengai Oilers at the Bullring in Kakamega.
Kabras have won two finals (2016 and 2022) and will have to work overtime to fend off the bankers who will be seeking to reclaim the title they lost last year.
The final is all about extending the decades-long rivalry between Kabras and KCB with the two sides having met in five previous finals.
Kabras are hosting their 5th final in a row having finished the regular season on top and it will be their eighth consecutive final in as many seasons.
Kabras beat KCB 29-23 on match-day 10 last month in Ruaraka. This will be the 16th meeting between the two rivals with KCB winning 11 of their 15 previous games while one encounter ended in a draw.
Kabras Rugby coach Carlos Katywa and KCB’s assistant coach Dennis Mwanja anticipate a tough encounter.
"To be honest, it is the biggest pressure of my coaching experience because KCB is coming to Kakamega. We will begin as underdogs considering their quality," said Katywa.
Mwanja said they will not underrate Kabras and will not count on history. “Kabras are worthy opponents and we will not underrate them. We had a great season and we want to crown it with a win,” said Mwanja.
The final will be preceded by a curtain raiser between Kibabii University and Sigalagala Technical Training Institute from 12 pm. A ladies' match Western Spears and Eregi will be played from 10 am.
Kabras home matches are always free of charge to enable the community to participate as much as possible.
During the finals last year, Kabras introduced charges that redeemable to their sponsor's products which are Kabras Sugar and Aquamist Mineral Water which helps in crowd control.
According to the Rai Group of Companies chairman Jaswant Rai, they also mentor the children from the community through age-grade programs not only through rugby but also through scholarships
Jaswant said they are also creating awareness of the conservation of the Kakamega forest, which plays a big role in their high-performance environment.
“We are now working very closely with the county government of Kakamega to realize this super objective by heavily investing not only in rugby but indeed other sports disciplines,” said Jaswant.