League leadership, neighborhood and social media bragging rights are all up for grabs when second placed Kenya Harlequin host leaders Resolution Impala Saracens in this season’s second installment of the Ngong Road Derby at the RFUEA Grounds on Saturday 30 January 2016. There is also the small measure of revenge being sought by the Sarries whose only blemish to their otherwise stellar record came by way of a match day one 29-22 home loss to the Quin on Saturday 21 November 2015.
The two sides, with a combined 18 Kenya Cup titles between them, sit pretty atop the league standings, a phenomenon not witnessed in years,many years for that matter. They also boast the best records in this season’s league thus far, each having won seven and lost one of their eight outings to date. The Sarries are ahead of Quins by virtue of collecting more bonus points, accumulating a total of 35 points in comparison to Quins’ 32.
They warmed up for this clash in contrasting fashion, the Sarries with the more difficult fixture last weekend but making it look as easy as it could possibly be, dispatching former champions Top Fry Nakuru 28-15 while Quins wiped the floor with Blak Blad, coasting to a 53-8 win.
Enough with the introductions, Saturday’s clash will most probably be a charged encounter, Quins hoping the words and chants of their rambunctious club anthem act as a source of inspiration against a Saracen opponent that is on a hot streak, seven straight wins that have seen them climb to the league’s summit.
Patrice Agunda and Tony Mutai have been nothing short of inspirational for Quins, their leadership and experience rubbing off on the rest of the squad and igniting the creative sparks in Lyle Asiligwa and Kevin Keegan. These players will again be the men to watch when the quartered shirts step out onto their home turf at roughly around 4.05pm on Saturday, keen to do the double on their visitors, keen to top the table, keen to add to another installment of epic clashes between the two sides.
And they are in good company. Nato Simiyu’s bravura rugby has been a source of excitement and inspiration for the Sarries who seemingly can’t do anything wrong at this point in time. The leadership of skipper Duncan Ekasi as well as the exuberance of Robert Aringo, and Impala academy graduate Bill Omondi only goes to further justify this fixture being highly charged.
There have been memorable encounters between the sides over the years,the 33-22 win for the Sarries during the 2014/15 season and …yes this one… a random memory pops up from the 2009 season when Quins won the first leg 25-16 but fell to a costly 13-5 defeat that handed the Sarries that season’s title, the last of their Kenya Cup titles to date.
Of course its still early days in the current season but still, this fixture could have ramifications on the playoffs, all the more reason it is a must watch affair that will also be televised live on Zuku Sports and K24 with a livestream link as well for viewers on the internet.