A defeat to KCB at the Den means Menengai Oilers have to win the final match of the season to reach the playoffs and head coach Gibson Weru is aware of the threat that Kenya Harlequins will pose as they meet on Saturday.
A playoff spot is up for grabs, and it is fellow town mates and big brothers Nakuru RFC who will be fighting for the coveted last playoff berth. This is after Mwamba’s 15-11 win over Impala which proved just enough to propel the black shirts into the playoffs, with a superior point difference as compared to Nakuru.
Weru has pointed a finger at lapses in concentration as the main misdoing from his team in their fall to the champions KCB.
“Lapses in concentration and you cannot afford to have such against a quality side like KCB. They are the defending champions and one of the best teams in the competition. I think we switched off for about 10 or 15 minutes and when we looked up again the score had ticked and they were way ahead making it impossible to catch them. Am happy we picked up ourselves towards the end and we managed to get the points.”
Pose Huge challenge
Knowing how detrimental the loss was to his team’s playoffs dream, the former Kenya sevens international says Nakuru’s loss to Quins hands them a final chance to correct the wrongs. It will be a must-win for Oilers when they host Quins on Saturday if they are to proceed to the quarter-final stage of the competition.
“The score from Nakuru against Quins has given us a lifeline so we just have to win on Saturday and it will not be any easier. Quins are a very good side despite them struggling early on in the season due to a few problems. Now they have their score together, they are a quite experienced side which will pose a huge challenge to us but we will give it our best to make sure that we achieve our goal which was to be in the playoffs this year.”
A decent performance from Oilers was plagued by the inability to secure their own lineouts, losing nearly four in the first half. With no ball in hand, Oilers were left to defend for a large part of their game, an uphill task playing against KCB.
“If you look at my team, I think they are playing well at times and we just need to polish our set pieces especially our lineouts which let us down in the first half and then our defence which seems to crumble under pressure. We will be working on our strike rate again to make sure each time we get to the 22 we come out with points.”
The match against Quins will be at 4PM.