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Nakuru RFC retain Kenya Cup Rugby title

18 May 2014, 10:21

Nairobi - Top Fry Nakuru retained the Kenya Cup with a 20-13 win over KCB in a nail biting final played at the RFUEA Grounds on Saturday May 17, 2014.

It was a game as close as a final should be, but was also error strewn, particularly in the first half, when Gibson Weru's punt at kick off failed the requisite 10 meters, Center Referee Bosco Muamba calling for the game's first scrum down.

Both teams took time to disengage from gear one, probably gauging each other, waiting for the opportune time to get into rhythm. Javan Murayi would miss a goal attempt for Nakuru following a KCB infringement. KCB would draw first blood when Darwin Mukidza slotted home a penalty after 21 minute.

This seemeed to sting Nakuru into life as they at KCB hammer and tongs, Murayi restoring parity with a penalty on 25 minutes, 3-3 the score.

Matters would remain close, but one man was growing his influence on the game, Nakuru number eight Martin Owila.

The game's turning point being KCB flanker Brian Sagara's yellow card on the stroke of half time for a no arms charge on Murayi, an act illegal in the books of Muamba and the laws of the game, act punishable by a ten minute stint in the sin bin courtesy of a yellow card.

Sagara's absence saw Nakuru capitalize, significantly heavier in the forwards, Isaiah Nyariki barging over as Nakuru took an 8-3 lead into half time.

The opening acts of the second half were totally different from the those of the first half, and why not? Scores on the board, titles to win or retain, so much to play, end result, urgency.

Nakuru had KCB on the ropes, but with KCB's first foray into Nakuru territory which coincided with Sagara's return from an enforced sin bin exile, Ken Moseti spotted a gap, beat the Nakuru gain-line, playing in Mukidza who scored and converted for a 10-8 lead on 52 minutes.

The game would continue to open up, the honour of being crowned Kenyan champions the motivating factor. Owila, later voted man of the match,  posed KCB problems with his breaks off the base and would cap his fantastic display with a try, Murayi converting for a 15-10 lead on 60 minutes.

A Nakuru infringement saw Mukidza score his second penalty, putting KCB to within two points of Nakuru, the scores 15-13 after 64 minutes but  Peter Karia's indecision at dealing with Kelvin Omiyo's grubber saw Edwin Okemwa put the champions 20-13 up when he touched down on 65 minutes.

Dominique Habimana's Wanyore continued to boss the breakdown, and contact areas, as they frustrated a game chasing KCB, hanging on for the result.

Speaking after the game, Habimana said, " I salute the team's effort, they operated as one. The forwards dominated, setting up platforms for us to score. This was a vintage game of rugby from both sides."

Earlier, KCB II defeated Nakuru II 21-10 in extra time to reclaim the Eric Shirley Shield title, their fourth title after wins in 2004, 2006 and 2008.

Collated Results

Kenya Cup Final:

Top Fry Nakuru 20 KCB 10

Eric Shirley Shield:

KCB II 21 Nakuru II 10

Man of the match - Kenya Cup - Martin Owila - Top Fry Nakuru

Man of the match - Eric Shirley Shield - Marlin Mukolwe - KCB II

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