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KCB mow down Kabras to clinch Kenya Cup

Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) are the 2014/2015 Kenya Cup rugby league champions.

The bankers recaptured the title they won last in 2007 when they ruled at the breakdowns and lineouts to beat Kabras Sugar 27-3 in a nail-biting final at the RFUEA grounds on Saturday.

Previous champions Nakuru settled for third after they edged out Strathmore Leos 21-15 in the play-off as Thika RFC lifted the Nationwide League title by beating Bungoma Sharks 13-11 in the final.

Both Thika and Bungoma have earned promotion to the 2015/2016 Kenya Cup league.

The waiting was finally over for KCB coach Curtis Olago, who reached the semis during the 2012/2013 season and the final in 2013/2014 season.

Interestingly, Olago won the Kenya Cup for KCB in 2007 when the bankers completed a back-to-back success after victories in 2005 and 2006.

KCB, who led at the drinks 12-0, landed three tries, two conversions and a penalty to triumph against Kabra Sugar’s penalty.

Tries from the league’s top try scorer tight-head prop Curtis Lilako, the final’s most valuable player fullback Darwin Mukidza and hooker Peter Karia were enough for the bankers to lift the diadem and deny Kabras from making history.

TEAM WORK AND DISCIPLINE

Fly-half Brian Tanga scored Kabras Sugar’s only points from penalty as KCB denied them possession especially in the lineouts where the sugarmen were strong.

On several occasion, Kabras Sugar threatened to tear through KCB’s lines but they were met by a solid defense that made it difficult for them to penetrate past the 5m.

“It was all about patience, team work and discipline,” said Olago adding that he almost threw in the towel after he reached the semi-finals in 2012/2013 and final in 2013/2014.

“It’s my players who told me to stay focused and soldier on,” said Olago, who also propelled KCB to retain the National Sevens Series title this season.

Olago, 32, said hailed his team’s maturity and character. “After watching Kabras stun Nakuru last weekend, we came up with a plan that really worked and I must give it up to the boys,” Olago explained.

“I told the boys to contest every ball at the breakdowns and give them hell at the lineouts where their hooker found it rough.”

Olago dedicated the victory the their late players Anthony Ochino and Frank “Stooge” Amiani. Ochino passed on last year while Amiani was laid to rest last weekend.

KCB skipper Philip Wamae was full praise of for his team mates for their patience, discipline and teamwork.

“We brought out our maturity and territorial play that made the difference in the match,” said Wamae.