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Rugby: Kenya Cup faces Covid-19 risks after cancelation of two matches

RUGBY By Washington Onyango | March 23rd 2021
Kabras Sugar's Felix Ayange (left) sprints past Brian Oyando of Kenya Harlequins during Kenya Cup match played in Nairobi.[Washington Onyango,Standard]

MMUST shock Mwamba to earn maiden league win

Kabras Sugar send warning to teams after reclaiming top spot a man down

Kabras Sugar RFC have sent out strong warning shots of their intentions to reclaim the Kenya Cup title they last won four years ago after running over Kenya Harlequins over the weekend despite playing one man less for over 60 minutes.

New boy Derrick Ashiundu was red carded early in the first half for a dangerous tackle on Quins hooker Boniface Ochieng but Kabras went on to defy their numerical disadvantage to dominate the game, scoring seven tries past a hopeless Quins side.

The sugar millers condemned Quins to their third loss of the campaign after a 43-5 drubbing to reclaim the Kenya Cup top spot with 15 points from Menengai Oilers who were not in action this weekend.

Speaking to the Standard Sports, Kabras head coach Mzingaye Nyathi said the win showed character and resilience in the team despite playing with a man less.

Nyathi, who registered his fourth win with Kabras (three league and one cup final), believes the victory show how hungry Kabras wants to win the Kenya Cup.

“Unbelievable. That was a high-octane match that the team played in Nairobi. I am glad that the boys stepped up their game despite the numerical disadvantage and won the game.”

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“The character and aggressiveness the team played with show it all that we are not just on top but a top team hungry to win every week. Though it is still early, we will take each match at a time as we work towards winning the cup,” Nyathi said.

The Zimbabwean tactician added that they are going to work on discipline after being penalized for a dangerous tackle.

MMUSTRugby's Samuel Mbeche and Polycarp Odipo (left) of Mwamba RFC in their Kenya Cup duel at KCB Grounds. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

“Discipline is of cause important especially in big games. We were lucky today and I would want that to happen again but all these are what makes rugby an interesting game,” Nyathi added.

The victory took them 15 points having gotten bonus points in each of their last three matches, same as defending champions KCB who extended their winning run in Kenya Cup to three matches after edging out Blak Blad 32-19 at KCB Sports Club which hosted a double header.

Captain Curtis Lilako, fullback Isaac Njoroge, Martin Owila and substitute Shadon Munoko crossed over to earn the bankers their third bonus point win to keep tabs on Kabras who have a superior point difference of 120.

Oilers drop to third with 11 points on the log after missing this weekend’s action after their clash was postponed as Nakuru stay fourth with nine points.

Blak Blad and Quins stay fifth on the log after their losses as Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST RFC) who bagged their first-ever Kenya Cup win after beating hosts Mwamba RFC 12-6 climb to position seven on the log with four points.

In the meantime, Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) boss Oduor Gangla has called on clubs to enforce and adhere to Covid-19 prevention protocols after two Kenya Cup fixtures were postponed over the weekend.

KRU confirmed 12 positive COVID-19 cases in the latest round of testing that prompted the postponement of Kenya Cup fixtures between Nondescripts and Strathmore Leos, and Menengai Oilers versus Resolution Impala Saracens.

“The positive players are not displaying any symptoms and have been advised on how to manage their recovery. With the health of players and technical staff as the priority, it was felt in the best interest of everyone to postpone the matches as we assess the situation,” said the union.

KRU continues to have full confidence in the COVID-19 protocols and being able to continue to play other upcoming fixtures as scheduled.

Kenya Cup Standings

1.Kabras Sugar 15 points

2. KCB 15 points

3. Menegai Oilers 11 points

4. Top Fry Nakuru 9 points

5. Blak Blad 7 points

6. Kenya Harlequin 7 points

7. MMUST 0 points

8. Mwamba 2 points

9. Impala 1 points

10. Nondies 0 points

11. Strathmore Leos 0 points

 

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