Top guns romp in Kenya Cup
Homeboyz yesterday bounced back from a heavy defeat the previous weekend to overcome the erstwhile undefeated Western Bulls 25-17 in a Kenya Cup rugby league match at the RFUEA grounds on Saturday.
Champions Nakuru, Kenya Commercial Bank and Mwamba also registered emphatic victories as newcomers Kabras Sugar claimed their maiden league victory in Kakamega.
Nakuru crushed visiting Mombasa 85-5 at the Nakuru Athletics Club while Kabras whipped fellow newcomers 41-0 at the Kakamega showground while KCB upheld their imperious run, crushing Kenyatta University’s Blak Blad 60-10 across the fence at Impala Sports Club.
At RFUEA, it was thrills and spills as the Ngong Road derby lived up to its billing but its Impala RFC who had the last laugh, beating Kenya Harlequin 33-22 at the RFUEA grounds.
Homeboyz, who lost to Impala 7-45 having previously mauled Mean Machine 71-3, dominated in the set-pieces and lineouts in the highly technical and see-saw match that saw both sides lead.
Tries from left wing Alvin Otieno, scrum half Kelvin Maasai and right wing Bush Mwale saw Homeboyz rallied down from 11-14 at the break to triumph. But not before man-of-the match fly half Aron Lubisia curled in two conversions and similar number of penalties.
Western Bulls’ fly half Brian Watson slotted in a penalty and converted tries from left wing Reyhard Ashioya and outside centre Eliab Baraza. Western Bulls had previously beaten Nondies and Mwamba 19-17 and 16-15 respectively.
The bankers touched down 10 tries against the hapless Blak Blad with second row Oliver Mang’eni claiming a hat-trick. Others who scored were Curtis Lilako, Darwin Mukidza, Collins Wanjala, Andrew Amonde, John Ahenda, Philip Wamae, Brian Sagala and Michael Omondi.
“It was more a a technical match since Western Bulls didn’t want to play in their own half just like us. That is why we resorted to kicking,” said Homeboyz coach Paul Murunga. “After the defeat by Impala, we worked on finishing and putting more substitutes on the bench.”
Murunga explained that Homeboyz were not used to playing under the floodlights hence the defeat by Impala.
“The lighting was so poor and something should be done if we are to have quality night matches,” said Murunga, who hailed his boys for standing firm in the lineouts and set-pieces.
Western Bulls coach Brian Makalama, conceded but rued the lapse in concentration in the set-pieces.
“We just went to sleep and the players failed to stick to my instructions. This is a wake up call for us,” said Makalama.
Lubisia gave Homeboyz an early led from a penalty but some quick response from Western Bulls forwards set up Ashioya for the try that Watson converted to give them a 7-3 lead.
Another penalty by Lubisia saw Homeboyz inch closer 6-7 but Baraza would intercept a pass at the midfield before dashing all the way for a centre post try that Watson converted to give Bulls a 14-6 lead.
After some lovely set-piece display Otieno would sneak in a try as Homeboyz reduced the deficit at 11-14 at the break.
Maasai would ring back Homeboyz into the match with a try at 18-14 but Watson replied with a penalty to come within a point. Mwale would go for the winning try for Homeboyz.
In another match, Kabras Sugar earned a valuable 41-0 bonus victory over fellow debutant Catholic Monks in a thrilling match at Kakamega Show Ground.
The victors took charge when Aluda Beda capitalized on an infringement to slot home a penalty kick, but before the dust could settle George Otieno was on the mark with a smart try which was converted by Aluda.
Oscar Okaron would later out sprint the entire Monks backline to touch down for a unconverted try as the home team led 15-0 at half time.
On Friday night, Strathmore Leos consolidated their Kenya Cup league lead to 20 points when they thrashed University of Nairobi’s Mean Machine 46-0.
Ted Dondi opened the scoring for the Leos, touching down after six minutes for 5-0 lead before Brian Nyikuli scored six minutes later, Kenny Andola converting for a 12-0 score.
Nyikuli would score two more unconverted efforts with Michael Wanjala adding a third try as the Leos led 27-0 at the break.
Further tries from Ginton Adongo, Adrian Opondo and Sammy Motari complemented by two Motari conversions secured the result for Strathmore.
In the Eric Shirley Shield matches, Western Bulls II rallied from 7-27 at the break to beat Homeboyz II 44-27 while Impala II handed Quins II a comprehensive 47-10 defeat at the RFUEA grounds. At Impala, KCB II mauled Blak Blad II 52-0 while Mwamba II beat Nondies II 17-15.
Results – Friday:
Strathmore Leos 46 Mean Machine 0
KCB 60, Blak Blad 10
Mwamba 43, Nondies 13
Homeboyz 25, Western Bulls 17
Quins 22, Impala 33
Nakuru 85, Mombasa 5
Kabras Sugar 41, Catholic Monks 0