Rhinos edge out Lions to book final berth against Rwenzori
RUGBY By By BS Mulavi | May 27th 2012 | 2 min read
By BS Mulavi
Rhinos RFC defeated Lions 20-19 in a tense and closely contested semi final of the Bamburi Rugby Super Series touching off wild celebrations for victors at the RFUEA Grounds.
With seven minutes of extra time having been played, the fate of the Lions rested on the boot of hero turned villain Fabian Olando who missed a point-blank penalty that would have seen his team progress to their first final since 2009.
But it was the Rhinos who were left jumping high up and dancing in relief while the Lions could only collapse with their faces buried in the hands. It was a bitter pill to swallow having dominated the better part of the second half with the defending champions barely hanging in there.
Speaking to Feverpitch after the victory, Rhinos head coach Eric Situma claimed all the glory belonged to the players. “I do not think from what we saw today we can attribute the success to the technical bench or any great tactical changes that may have been done. It was all down to how much the players wanted to win.”
“The score says it all and to win against a team with such great talent and determination shows just how much character we have as a team,” he added.
After the nail-biting victory Situma did not take long to make a title roar and say they were ready for their opponents Rwenzori who had won the other semi final in Kampala 15-0 over the Cheetahs.
Rhinos had travelled to Uganda during their group stage and had lost narrowly to the hosts but have now declared they turn tables on the Ugandans at the RFUEA Grounds.
“Next weekend’s game will not be just about the final, but we also have a bone to pick with the team we are going to play,” said Situma.
Rhinos are the current defending champions and should they win the final this would take their run to a fourth consecutive title.
“This year’s tournament has been a bumpy ride for us, it was only the first game against Victoria that seemed to have gone according to plan, but with every challenge that has come we feel that it has made us become greater as a side and has raised our confidence to take on any obstacles on our way,” Situma said.
“All the teams we have played so far have stretched us quite a bit and when we win next weekend’s match it will feel really special for the team who have been working hard throughout the tournament,” he added.
Chelsea legend Drogba and Eto'o to attend Africities in Kisumu