Simbas maul Cranes
RUGBY By Rodgers Eshitemi | July 31st 2016
Kenya Simbas reclaimed the Elgon Cup by beating Uganda Rugby Cranes 45-24 (93-34 on aggregate) in the return leg-cum-Rugby Africa Division 1A encounter, at the RFUEA Grounds in Nairobi, yesterday.
It is a result that left Simbas coach Jerome Paarwater a happy man, and he lauded his charges for a quick response from their humiliating 56-21 defeat to African Champions Namibia.
“It was a good game. We knew it would be tough, but having lost to Namibia this was the game for us to bounce back. I am glad the boys never gave up even after a tricky start,” Paarwater told Feverpitch.
“We definitely had a perfect start, but relaxed for a while and allowed Uganda to come back into the match. But we corrected the mistakes in the second half and got away with it. We are now looking forward to another two legged exciting test matches against Hong Kong.”
And for his Cranes counterpart John Duncan, they lost to a better side.
“Kenya capitalised on a few errors we committed and those small things made a big difference. Kenya deserved to win, but am also proud of my boys for their efforts,” said Duncan.
But for Simbas captain, Brian Nyikuli they are excited to have the regional Cup back.
“I am really proud of the boys. Coming from the Namibia defeat, we did not want to lose again. We are happy to have the Cup back home and make our fans happy. This is our land, you cannot threaten us here and go Scot free. We are humbled by the win,” Nyikuli said.
The Simbas went ahead through Ronnie Mwenesi’s try that was converted by Darwin Mukidza before David Ambunya doubled the lead with an unconverted try.
But as the game progressed, the Ugandans started to settle into the game with Ivan Magomu pulling a converted try back for the visitors to make the scores 12-7.
Philip Wokorach, who had converted Cranes’ opening try, then grounded the second converted try for Uganda to go 14-12 up.
However, moments later, Kenya regained the lead through Mukidza’s penalty before Davis Kiwalabye touched down a converted try for the Cranes to go up again 19-15.
Mukidza then kicked a penalty with Mike Okombe grounding in the 36th for the Simbas to go to the breather leading 23-19.
But after a nervy first half, the Jerome Paarwater’s men came back into the second half a more rejuvenated side with Mukidza’s penalty and captain Brian Nyikuli’s try extending Kenya’s lead 33-19.
Wokorach would ground his second try of the day, but Simon Muniafu put the game beyond Cranes reach with a converted try followed Max Adaka’s try for Kenya to reclaim the title they lost to their rivals last year.
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