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Key talking points as Rugby Super Series enters final week

Monday, May 20th, 2024 18:12 | By
Rugby Super Series Final captains lineup PHOTO/@superseriesKE/X
Rugby Super Series Final captains lineup PHOTO/@superseriesKE/X

The Rugby Super Series final is back, and with it, all the hype and undeniable quality. With the best players country round sticking up their arms for national team selection, an exhilarating three weeks boils down to the final weekend.

Into the finals will be Nakuru-based Cheetahs who are separated from the Lions by point difference, both outfits having won two and lost one en route.

The summiting Lions finished their last of round-robin matches on a high with a win, as a disjointed Cheetahs outfit fell to Rhinos.

Apart from the promise of a mouthwatering final, this is what headlines the Rugby Super Series heading into the final weekend at the RFUEA Grounds.

Bullish Lions final roar

Lions prop Oscar Simiyu charges in a past Rugby Super Series match PHOTO/Rugby super series/@superseriesKE/X
Lions prop Oscar Simiyu charges in a past Rugby Super Series match PHOTO/@superseriesKE/X

The Lions looked sharp and determined as they relentlessly piled pressure on the Cheetahs, both on attack and defence surprising anyone who watched their first two matches. A loss to Cheetahs in the second round only seemed to add fire to a visibly rejuvenated Lions side, a fact that will worry Cheetahs faithfuls ahead of the final clash in Nairobi.

Levi Amunga drilling in 15 points from the tee after a positional switch to fly half will be a key area to watch if he gets the nod ahead of Namusasi. Bob Muhati is also well rested now to start at the inside centre. Amunga firing from all cylinders will be a huge puzzle to solve for Cheetahs, his hard running and good control of the backline key for the Lions.

The inclusion of Chipu winger Michael Wamalwa proved hugely beneficial while backrower Andy Cole perfectly held his own with Eliakim Kichoi leading from the back of the scrum.

If the Lions turn up the heat like we witnessed over the weekend, then we are definitely in for a treat when the Rugby Super Series final goes down.

Cheetahs’ final pounce

Cheetahs player in Rugby Super Series action. PHOTO/RugbySuperSeries/@superseriesKE/X
Cheetahs player in Rugby Super Series action. PHOTO/RugbySuperSeries/@superseriesKE/X

With 11 changes to their match-day squad, the Cheetahs tasted their first loss despite a spirited fight against the Rhinos in Kakamega. Witnessing seven new faces in the starting lineup, including a change at scrumhalf that saw experienced Sam Onsomu start from the bench meant the Buyachi-coached outfit lacked fluency earlier on in the match.

Their energetic and unrelenting character was also suspiciously absent as they looked sluggish allowing Rhinos easy tries. Case example, Victor Odhiambo stepping off the wing to score past a passive Cheetahs defence.

Cheetahs will bank on a well-rested squad, especially in the forwards, Abukuse who had a terrific first game last weekend is expected to make a start alongside the likes of Quinto Ongo and Beldad Ogeta who were rested for the Lions match.

In full complement, the Cheetahs look poised to carry the day, solely banking on experience.

Rhinos, Buffaloes Case

Rhinos' Matoka Matoka  in Rugby Super Series final action PHOTO/RugbySuperSeries/@superseriesKE/X
Rhinos' Matoka Matoka in Rugby Super Series final action PHOTO/@superseriesKE/X

The Rhinos and Buffaloes find themselves with bragging rights to fight for ahead of weekend action. National team selection will play a massive role in ensuring that both sets of players bring their A-game on the day. A chance at personal accolades is another motivating factor for the two teams battling out for third and fourth place.

And yes, the return of the Rugby Super Series finals ranks up there with the best, if not the best thing that has happened to our local rugby scene in a decade!

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