UPSET NO ONE SAW COMING: Kabras stun champs Nakuru, set Kenya Cup final date with KCB
RUGBY By BS MULAVI | March 8th 2015
|KCB's Allan Omuka is tackled by Nakuru Top Fry Sammy Warui (left) and Calvin Otieno during their Kenya Cup final match at KRU Grounds on 17-05-2014.PHOTO/DENNIS OKEYO|
There will be a new Kenya Cup champion this season, after current holders Nakuru RFC were knocked out of the competition by newly promoted Kabras RFC.
Playing at the Nakuru Athletics Club, the hosts were beaten 15-12 in a tough duel between the two semi-finalists.
In the other semi-final, Kenya Commercial Bank fought hard to secure a 24-21 victory over Strathmore.
Speaking after the tie, Kabras Coach/player Anthony Ogot claimed they can now dare dream of winning the cup in their first season in the league. According to Ogot, they have the spirit to win and that is a major component in their push to make history.
“I would like to thank the boys for a spirited performance, the fans for being behind us, the sponsors for supporting us and most importantly, God,” he said.
Kabras will now meet KCB in the final.
“I know KCB well and I know they have what it takes to play in big games, but I am confident that we are still able to mount a credible challenge and beat them,” he revealed.
Nakuru will feel hard done by the loss, given that they were the only team playing on home-turf in the semi finals and they now have to relinquish the crown after two years at the summit. They entered the match as the only unbeaten team in the league and were stark favourites to defend their title. The ball has now rolled to KCB’s court as the finals are scheduled to be played next weekend in Nairobi.
In their semi, the bankers were favourites to win the tie, but Strathmore were not willing to let them have it easy in front of a vociferous crowd.
Speaking after the tie, KCB head coach Curtis Olago expressed his joy of reaching the finals for a second consecutive year and said they were now closer to their dream of winning the Kenya Cup for the first time since 2007.
The former Kenya national 15s player added that they have been playing each game as it comes, and are now looking forward to the finals. The Bankers lost to Nakuru last season in the finals and Olago claims they are not willing to come so close and miss out on the title again.
In a post-match interview, Olago praised his troops for their resilience against Strathmore, but was quick to affirm there is still work to be done if they are to win the trophy.
“We could have played better in their 22, and we were not as quick as we usually are,” Olago said, adding that they can do much better in their coming match, for which they will pull out all the stops.
The victory was a double celebration for KCB, who also got to win the Anthony Ochino Memorial Cup, which was played in remembrance of the former flanker.
Strathmore on the other end, will be back to the drawing board after a third consecutive appearance in the semifinals, where they have failed to come out with the ultimate price.
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