Kenya: Wake Up! Abok Rallies Misfiring Machine Ahead of Kenya Cup Resumption

Nairobi — Kenya Cup rugby side Mean Machine need to adapt quickly to the top-tier if they are to win matches and avoid the drop into the second-tier, coach Nick Abok has warned.

The University of Nairobi rugby side, who returned to the Kenya Cup for the first time since their relegation in the 2018/19 season, are thus far winless, having lost three matches and drawn one.

“We need to learn and adapt quickly to the Kenya Cup. The good thing is we are learning fast. In our last match (against Kenya Harlequins), we scored three tries as is the same case with our previous match (against CUEA Monks). I wish we could score more because you only win when you score tries,” Abok said.

The three-time Kenya Cup champions are rooted second from last on the league standings with two points – only one better than Masinde Muliro University in last position.

The two teams clash when the Kenya Cup resumes in a week’s time in a students’ derby and Abok has underlined their intentions to maintain their top flight status.

“In our last match, our inexperience in the red zone cost us. We won a turnover but then they brought it back to us and took advantage of our mistake. We own it… we made mistakes but the good thing is that there is a solution. Our main aim is to maintain our status in the Kenya Cup so our next match is a must-win,” he said.

Despite capping off the year on a low – a 45-20 loss to Quins – the coach sees positives in the vociferous support from the student fraternity at UoN and is keen to tap into the same to spur his charges onward.

“Of course, it (fan support) is a positive… to see them come to cheer on their classmates, not forgetting former students and players who come to our matches. We would like to encourage them to keep supporting and pushing us forward. They are our 16th man and their role is so integral to what we are trying to do. This year, they have really been with us and we look forward to more of the same next year,” Abok said.

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