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Race for play-off slots gets tighter

The race for Kenya Cup play-off spots goes down to the wire after Kenya Harlequins and Strathmore Leos lost their weekend matches.

Harlequins fell 23-27 to unbeaten league leaders Nakuru RFC at the Rugby Football Union of East Africa Ground. Nakuru have 49 points and are clear favourites to retain the title they won for the first time in their history last season.

KCB jumped to second place after condemning Strathmore Leos to a 0-29 defeat at the Lion’s Den in Ruaraka. The win takes them to 43 points, while Strathmore remain at 37 points in third place. Quins are fourth on 33 points.

KCB were in command of the of the match, going ahead when Essau Otieno’s long pass released Jacob Ojee who beat his Leos defenders for a 5-0 lead. Otieno sprinted brilliantly, he made a try and converted for KCB to take a 12-0 lead.

The bankers got their bonus point through a Dennis Mwanja score. Fifth and sixth-placed Homeboyz and Nondies still have a chance of squeezing into the top four as they have 31 and 30 points.

Strathmore are having sleepless nights as they worry about sustaining their hold onto the top four. They have two tough matches against Mwamba and Nakuru.

In their other fixture, they face-off with Mombasa.

The students raced to an early lead on the log when the season started, but have gradually been falling back.

Fourth-placed Kenya Harlequins are left with relatively easy matches. The former champions will be up against Eldoret, Kisumu and Blak Blad. They appear set for the play-offs, unless they make an embarrassing slip up in the coming weeks.

Homeboyz also have an easy time in the next three weeks, as they face Kisumu, Mean Machine and Western Bulls.

The Bulls game could be their toughest match when they travel to Kakamega, where Echulusi have been a hard nut to crack. In the last two seasons they have  only lost twice.

Nondies too, have a fighting chance. They are paired with   Kisumu, Blak Blad and Mean Machine in their remaining ties.

Blak Blad could pose the biggest threat to Strathmore and Homeboyz.