Agile Impala run past Menengai: It’s a successful outing for defending champions

Israel Soi of Impala in action against KCB during their Kenya Cup play off match at Impala grounds on April 30, 2015.[PHOTO:DENNIS OKEYO/STANDARD]

Easy sailing for Kabeberi Sevens winners at RFUEA grounds.

Impala RFC successfully retained the Kabeberi Sevens crown after producing a masterclass performance to beat Menengai Oilers 22-5 yesterday.

Despite the defeat, Oilers, who came into the tournament ranked third, leapfrogged National Circuit champions Homeboyz at the summit after garnering 19 points to take their season tally to 36.

Impala are tied on 34 points with second-placed Homeboyz ahead of the third round, Prinsloo Sevens, slated for September 23-24 in Nakuru.

Samuel Motari opened the scores when he received a pass from Paul Mutsami and raced through the middle to ground a brilliant try at the left corner at the RFUEA grounds.

Mark Kwemoi then doubled the lead with his own converted try before Mutsami crossed over on the stroke of halftime to take the scores 17-0.

However, Impala were reduced to six men after Mutsami was sent to the sin-bin. But that did not stop his side from retaining the title as Ian Minjere latched on a miss-pass to make it 22-0. Derrick Kimani pulled a try back for Oilers, but Impala held their nerves to win the game.

Strathmore upset Kabras

Elsewhere, Strathmore upset Kabras Sugar 21-12 in the third place playoffs as Kenya Commercial Bank stunned national champions Homeboyz 24-12 in the fifth place playoffs.

Nakuru won the Challenge Trophy after beating hosts Mwamba 17-12. Harold Ojango was Nakuru’s hero in the semis after he scored a hat-trick to inspire his side to a hard-fought 22-17 victory over Strathmore.

Strathmore drew first blood through Dennis Juma’s unconverted try before Ojango restored parity. Juma then touched down for another try as the university students led 12-5.

Brilliant interplay

However, a brilliant interplay from Nakuru saw Sam Muregi reduce the deficit with an unconverted try at the stroke of halftime.

Ojango grabbed his second try of the game for a 15-12 slim lead, but the relentless Strathmore side regained the lead through Lucas Opal’s try.

Ojango shrugged off a challenge from his marker before racing past Strathmore's defence to score a match-winning converted try.

In the other semi, Paul Mutsami grounded a brace of tries as Impala saw off Kabras 24-15 in a thrilling encounter.

Impala took an early 7-0 lead when Mark Kwemoi scored and converted his own try. Richard Sidindi then capitalised on the millers’ defensive lapse to extend the lead before Jacob Ukumba pulled a try back for Kabras.

Mutsami crossed over for a successful conversion as matter stood at 19-5. Brian Tanga reduced the deficit after good play from Fabian Olando before their teammate Dan Sikuta was sin-binned.

Mutsami made it 24-10 with his second try of the game.

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