League debutantes Kabras Sugar posted their fifth win on the trot, the 45-27 win at home to Resolution Impala Saracens on Saturday seeing them rise to fourth, swapping places with Mwamba who dropped to fifth as the race for playoff qualification intensifies.
The Kakamega based side who were promoted from the Nationwide league last season started with two losses to KCB (3-13) and champions Top Fry Nakuru (10-13) before posting five straight wins that have vastly improved their fortunes.
How it unfolded
In a torrid 1st quarter that ended up deciding the game, more or less, Kabras racked up 19 points.
Kabras’ opening tries were made by outstanding lock forward Steve Oluoch’s brace on either side of blindside winger Malik Habil’s corner flag try. Right winger Aluda Beda converted two tries.
In the 2nd quarter, the Resolution Insurance backed side came back into the game sparked by openside winger Tyson Okoth’s workrate and Lameck Dunde’s monster fend on Kabras’ openside flanker George Okello. Okello would sadly walk off concussed.
“Unfortunately, we were unable to hold on to the ball, at critical moments in that first half that would have seen us back in the game,” said Gazelles’ captain Duncan Ekasi. A penalty conversion by fullback Sammy Oliech, coming right at the end of the half was all the Gazelles banked. 19-3, half time.
Fly half Brian Tanga’s sensational run in the middle of the park and 20 metre left hand pass to release hooker Cyrus Watum, opened the 2nd half scores 3 minutes in. Aluda’s corner flag conversion extended Kabras’ lead to 26-3. A series of ferocious forwards exchanges resulted in Impala Saracens 10th minute unconverted try by Okoth to narrow the scores to 26-8.
Two quickfire tries that confirmed Habil’s hat trick, one converted by Tanga, would move the contest to unmanageable territory, at 38-8, for the Global Saracens Network linked team. Ekasi would however score from the tail of a well structured maul with Oliech adding the extras to bring the score to 38-15.
The Gazelles would then score a long range 70 metre try. Interpasses between backs and forwards ended up with Quinto Ongo giving the final inside pass to Oliech to complete the final 25 metre dash to score and convert. 38-22. Kabras
Fullback Oscar Okaron would then lead Kabras into the forties territory, with Tanga scoring Kabras’ last points through the conversion. 45-22. Impala Saracens now locked into the mode of chasing the single point, from scoring four tries, as they had three.
Reserve fullback Richard Sidindi would score the bonus point try, at the death from, first, OKaron’s miskick into the middle of the pitch, and the Gazelles’ multi phase play after. 45-27, full time.
Head Coach Anthony Ogot, speaking to the Daily Nation, said, “Kenya Cup is a tough tournament. I can only take a game at a time, and train hard to win. “We thank God where we have reached and hope to uphold the momentum heading to the play-offs.”
Their next fixture is an all Kakamega derby against Western Bulls on Saturday 17 January 2015.
– with additional reporting courtesy of impalasaracens.com