KRU Championship: USIU captain Mulakoli upbeat for top finish after whipping Ngong 69-20
United States International University-Africa (USIU) RFC captain Eliud Mulakoli is confident they will go all the way and finish top the 2018-19 KRU Championship table after thrashing already relegated Ngong Warriors 69-20 on Sunday.
The students' match was postponed to Sunday to accommodate the sendoff of their fallen star Derrick Obiero who passed away earlier last month.
In an interview with The Standard Sports, a bullish Mulakoli said that they are more than ready for the challenge, adding that the team’s top priority is to finish ahead of current leaders Monks.
“We have already managed a playoffs appearance but after this special win I am self-confident we can go all the way and book a home semifinal slot with a top spot finish,” Mulakoli gushed.
The Thika road based team is now placed at position three in the log after their weekend heroics with 54 points, appoint behind second-placed Western Bulls and five off leaders Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) Monks RFC with 59 points.
With only a game in hand to play against South Coast Pirates, the students have a chance of finishing ahead of Monks if they win with a bonus and a greater goal difference of plus eight.
“We will be cautious in approaching the game in hand against Pirates at the coast since we know they are also a tough side when playing at their backyard. The team needs to be patient since we need more than four tries and a healthy eight plus goal difference to finish top,” team coach Dennis Mwanja said.
Mwanja’s men outscored the visitors by ten tries to three in a game that was full of running rugby, and a six-try half-time gap lead ultimately proved too big for Ngong to bridge.
It was an encouraging start for the students, who saw plenty of the ball and gave it air. They eventually found the breakthrough barely two minutes into the game when Naison Chabayanzara ran on to a flat pass from Jeremy Olulo to go over from close range.
Mulakoli added the extras for a 7-0. Fred Okoth would then add the second for a 12-0 lead early on in the game. The hosts extended their lead when Kimanzi toed the ball through the defence and a miscommunication between Ngong defenders allowed the chasing Joseph Kagimu to pounce and score for a 17-0 lead.
Skipper Eliud Mulakoli extended his side’s lead after dancing his way through Ngong shirts for a try under the posts to take the scores to 24-0 before Ronald Kipchumba finished brilliantly in the corner to get his first of the match.
Minutes later Olulo grabbed a golden opportunity to touch down under the posts for a 31-5 half time score.
The Martials were on the back foot for large parts of the second half with Kipchumba getting his second and Joe Awuor, Dennis Hure and Musa Shabani ensuing they finish the game on a high ten try fist.
Monks face off with South Coast Pirates in Ukunda over the coming weekend.
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