Gerald Kibugi has pledged his allegiance to one Kenya Cup side, Impala Saracens, for as long as he has had a National Identity Card…oops…maybe even longer. Well, he takes a retrospective look at Saturday’s championship match that his side lost 5-22 to Kabras Sugar at the Impala Club.
Match day 22, Kenya Cup Final, Saturday 7 May 2016, Impala Club, Nairobi
Weather conditions: who cares, its rugby.
Teams – Impala Saracens vs Kabras Sugar.
The game was decidedly one sided from kick off,as Kabras took on an Impala Saracens side that was bumbled and overwhelmed by the drizzle and mud.
With proven prowess in the conditions that were fast deteriorating (only for Impala and the fans in attendance), the Kabras squad consistently punched through the Impala defence, without hinderance or concern for the weather. and assuredly deserved to draw first blood with an early penalty and an unconverted try from a dashing run by the half back Edwin Achayo, that left the number one seeded squad stuck in a muddy rut.
Beautiful rugby is played in all conditions, and the Kabras fullback Jone Kubu led his charges in cementing their position as the team of the day.
Forced into inconsitencies that marred the backline play of Impala, the daggering runs of probably the best backs in the game were for nought at the rucks, with the Impala players unable to stay on their feet at two very crucial moments, five or so yards from the Kabras try line, that so them sent back into their half.
It was as distressing as expected and did in fact water down the potency of Impala’s offence, and definitely worked an angle on the team’s morale.
Meanwhile, Kabras played to the core basics of the game, except for a judgment lapse and discplinary caution that forced their flanker, Apenisa Natabua off the pitch on a yellow card.It was Samson Onsomu, with indiviudual brilliance that finally put the gazelles on the board with a try at the end of the half, for a score of 11 – 5 Kabras.
The second half kicked off with far less decorum but for the rain gods wrath, and the pitch as waterlogged as it can get.The play was brisk and cautionary from both sides but it was Kabras again who enjoyed overwhelming possession and superb ball handling with minimum handling errors.
With an unconverted try from a maul and two converted penalties from Fabian Olando, the pressure to concede the game was almost insurmountable for the Gazelles.
Kubu and Nato Simiyu exchanged kicks for most of the half, and Impala’s strategy was called into question by the numerous offsides and infringements in rucks that gave Kabras Sugar a titular advantage before the final whistle.They were no longer pretenders to the throne.
It was befitting final for both squads, with character and honorable performances from two teams that deserved the slots.
A special mention goes to the Impala captain, Duncan Ekasi and his charges for playing the game with intention purpose and honor. It is a rare quality in a young squad with a sprinkling of maturity.
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