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A decade ago, Strathmore Leos were 80 minutes away from lifting their maiden Kenya Cup title but they fell short, losing 39-3 to eventual winners Nakuru.

Fast forward to February 2023, and after back to back semifinal finishes in 2021 and 2022, the varsity students find themselves in the relegation zone with two rounds of the regular season still to play.

They need to turn this around when they take on the only varsity side to have laid hands on the grand prize of Kenyan club rugby, Mean Machine, champions in 1977, 1989 and 1990.

Machine have fallen from their lofty heights over time, and were relegated for the first time in 2017 and again in 2019.

They currently occupy bottom place on the log and their clash against the Leos will be of great significance as it could determine who between the two sides survives.

For the Leos, it has been that kind of season that has literally flashed before their eyes but Saturday’s clash at Madaraka is probably their last roll of the dice. With playoff qualification well and truly out of their reach, they will be out to maintain their league status and regroup for the Enterprise Cup and National Sevens Circuit later in the year.

Machine, they have struggled all season, understandably, and only picked up their first win of the season last weekend when they stunned 1983 champions Mwamba. They will definitely fancy their chances of registering another stunner, and will use inter varsity rivalry as motivation to take on the Leos.

Michael Kwambo |


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