University of Nairobi’s Mean Machine and hosts Egerton University have beefed up their squads ahead of their Varsity League semi-final clash at the Egerton University grounds on Saturday.
University Sevens champions Blak Blad from Kenyatta University have also taken precautions as they brace for the Catholic University of East Africa’s Monks challenge in the other semi-final at the same grounds.
Prop Ben Mwangi will now lead Machine’s assault, taking over the armband from Sheldon Munoko, who will be leading Machine’s other side against Catholic University of East Africa at Impala Floodlit tournament.
Machine are also without their fly-half Bruce Odhiambo and second-row Ben Kanyi, who have been replaced by Festus Shihasi and Cornell Omondi.
On the other hand, eighth-man Ian Mwau, scrum-half Kevin Mburu and centre Emman Idachi will start for Egerton ahead of Hamsa Seif, Steve Obiero and Kevin Njomo respectively.
“We are going for nothing short of victory because we are well prepared,” said Munoko. “ I won’t be at Egerton but Mwangi will guide them, having tremendously improved with every match in the pool stage.”
Egerton coach Enos Otieno expects tight play from Machine owing to their heavy forwards. “We intend to play an expansive game by engaging them and running the ball wide,” said Otieno.
University Sevens champions Blak Blad from Kenyatta University have also taken precautions as they brace up for the Catholic University of East Africa’s Monks challenge in the other semi-final.
Blak Blad, who will be captained by Dennis Odhiambo, have only made one change, replacing injured scrum-half Kennedy Hurricane with Brian Wahinya. “We expect a tight game but I believe we have a strong pack that should set a good stage for our backline,” said Michael “Tank” Otieno.
Blak Blad finished top of Pool “A” when they edged out Egerton 27-6 while Machine rolled over Catholic 26-10 in the final round of Pool matches at the Catholic University of East Africa grounds last Saturday.
It was a clean run for Blak Blad, who are the reigning Varity Sevens champions, having beaten Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and Technical University of Mombasa 23-14 and 29-0 in the first and second round respectively.
Machine also emerged unscathed in Pool “B” after previously crushing University of Eldoret and Technical University of Kenya 27-18 and 31-0 respectively.