Quins and Impala serve up thrilling Ngong Derby
RUGBY By DICKSON MOSE | January 31st 2016
The Ngong Road Derby lived up to its billing as an exciting clash.
Kenya Harlequin rallied from behind to edge out visiting Impala Saracens 25-23 in this season’s second derby at the RFUEA Grounds on Saturday.
It was the visiting Sarries who got the first points, with Sammy Oliech scoring a penalty before scoring and converting his own try for a 10-0 lead.
Lyle Asiligwa drilled home a penalty to cut the deficit to 10-3, before Oliech pounced with another try and conversion to see the Impala lead 17-3.
Impala looked to have sealed the win when star man Oliech added another penalty to take the scores to 20-3, but the hosts slowly clawed back with Asiligwa and Tony Mutai combining to bring the scores to 20-10. Before the break, Kevin Keegan scored a beautiful try, with Asiligwa once again converting for a 20-17 score.
Impala seemed pushed in the second half, with the Sarries taking advantage with Mutai and Asiligwa doing the damage as Quins held out for a win.
“We were not settled in the first 20 minutes. It was hard for us and Impala capitalised on that and took the lead,” noted Coach Jimmy Mnene after the match.
“The boys, however, showed great character and mental strength to come back and win the tie, and considering it was a derby, it had massive pressure,” he added.
In the early fixture, defending champions KCB were left shell-shocked, after Homeboys registered their first ever win against them, edging the Lions 27-22 in an exciting clash at the same venue.
Ronnie Kangeta, the KCB team manager, rued missed chances but promised that his troops will try to rectify their mistakes before their match against Thika.
“Our systems did not click. Homeboyz did their homework. They hit us on the breakdowns and really interfered with out racks, they shut us down,” he said.
He added: “We will fix the mistakes and make changes to the squad, drop a few players and freshen up the squad. Despite a few losses, we are optimistic of defending our title,”. On his part, Homeboyz coach Will Webster lauded his charges for a job well done, even though he noted that it was not the the perfect performance.
“It was our first win against KCB, we played in the right parts of the field, even though the second half wasn’t the best. We were under pressure but good thing we picked the points, we won the match,” he said.
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