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KCB drown in Kabras sweetness

Rugby
 Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa awards Kabras Sugar the 2023 Kenya Cup title.[Benjamin Sakwa,Standard]

Kabras Sugar endured their toughest test this season on Saturday, but showed real character and determination to secure their first ever Kenya Cup final against KCB, 19-9, at ASK Kakamega Showground.

The scoreline was a true reflection of the physical and closely contested tie that was watched by a capacity crowd.

Having fallen to the bankers in their last five meetings in the final, Carlos Katywa had to come up with a proper plan to ensure he helps the millers break the jinx.

And the South African tactician did it perfectly, as his side capitalised on the indisciplined bankers’ mistakes to bag their third title albeit with an unbeaten record.

 Kabras Sugar's George Nyambua (center) in action against KCB during the Kenya Cup final.[Benjamin Sakwa,Standard]

Speaking after the win, a jubilant Katywa thanked the fans for showing up to support and motivate the team to glory.

“It is a happy day. First, we thank God. It has been a very tough season despite our achievements and today I thank the fans for showing up in large numbers. This win is not only for Kabras but the whole Kakamega County and Western region at large. The Cup is safely home again,” said Katywa.

Kabras Sugar got off the blocks more aggressively, winning a penalty inside the opening three minutes but Ntabeni Dukisa’s attempt from 20-yards went wide.

Rallied on by their home fans who came in their thousands at the Forest Stadium, the deafening noise and momentum pushed Kabras to win another penalty 10 yards from the try line that Fijian-born Kenyan international Jone Kubu sent home to lead 3-0 in the 10th minute.

Fearing another shock, travelling KCB fans stood up and started dancing to the Isukuti beats, a move that woke up the bankers who went on a spree of attacks on Kabras defence. However, poor set plays saw KCB lose three lineouts that were intercepted by Kabras back line in three consecutive attempts.

 Kabras Sugar fans during the Kenya Cup finals against KCB.[Benjamin Sakwa,Standard]

Kabras won another penalty at the half hour mark but Kubu failed to split the posts, the sugar men’s second penalty miss.

Largely a game of physical contact and big hits between the forwards of both teams. KCB were gifted with an opportunity to tie the scores three minutes from the break but the strong winds denied Darwin Mukidza.

Dukisa also missed Kabras’s third penalty as the sides went to the break with the millers leading 3-0.

In the final half, Dukisa amended his earlier two misses to stretch the scores to 6-0 before Mukidza replied with a penalty for the bankers to cut the scores to 6-3.

Dukisa restored Kabras’ six point advantage to lead 9-3 with another penalty but the bankers responded immediately through Mukidza for 9-6.

A game dominated by penalties, KCB leveled the scores with a penalty from the middle of the field converted by Dukisa.

Kabras rallied again to score a penalty try awarded by the referee after continuous infringement to lead 16-9.

Numerous attempts by the bankers to get their first try were unsuccessful as the Kabras defense stood strong.

South African fly half Dukisa sealed the win with a late penalty as the hosts went on to finally break their jinx against KCB (19-9).

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