What you need to know:
- A penalty try and four penalties are what Kabras Sugar, who changed their jerseys at half-time, needed to seal their third Kenya Cup success
- It was not just another victory for Kabras Sugar as they finally managed to break the curse, beating KCB for the first time in the final
- The leadership of skipper George Nyambua and Dan Sikuta with the vital breaks from substitute scrum-half Brian Tanga gave Kabras the edge they needed to silence the eight-time Kenyan champions
Good defence, mental fortitude and a cool head are what Kabras Sugar banked on to beat KCB 19-9 and retain the Kenya Cup title on Saturday at Kakamega Agricultural Society of Kenya Showground.
They say good defence always win matches in rugby.
That is what eighth man Jeason Misoga exhibited as he marshalled the sugar millers’ rearguard against KCB, who failed to score a try in the final for the first time in many years.
The leadership of skipper George Nyambua and Dan Sikuta with the vital breaks from substitute scrum-half Brian Tanga gave Kabras the edge they needed to silence the eight-time Kenyan champions.
Fullback Fijian-born Jone Kubu and fly-half Ntabeni Dukisa’s kicking prowess kept KCB away from their territory.
“It was a tight match as we expected but we knew there was a perception that we are a first half team,” said Misoga, who celebrated his second Kenya Cup victory.
“We knew a good defence would deliver victory. The only gift I would have given my team was to stop KCB from scoring tries. Our coach took us through defensive drills that really worked today,” explained Misoga.
“I am really proud of my boys not conceding a try against KCB, who were used to scoring many tries against teams, is a great achievement,” said Kabras coach Carlos Katywa.
Katywa noted that KCB tried to use the blind side for the first time but his defence stood firm.
“They thought history would repeat itself by holding us for the first half then pinning us but we had sorted that out,” said Katywa. “Their tight three couldn’t sustain the heat to change and that is when we destroyed them at the scrum to get a penalty try.”
It was not just another victory for Kabras Sugar as they finally managed to break the curse, beating KCB for the first time in the final.
The two teams had previously met in the Kenya Cup final five times with KCB reigning supreme. Interestingly, Kabras Sugar changed the line-up they had officially released a day before the match.
The host club also had their players change their jerseys at half time when they were leading 3-0. A penalty try and four penalties are what Kabras Sugar needed to retain the title for their third Kenya Cup success.
The partisan crowd poured onto the pitch in celebration amidst Isukuti beat and dance after referee Victor Oduor blew the final whistle to end the tense final.
Dukisa’s and Kubu’s boots did the damage for Kabras while KCB replied through the kicking of winger Darwin Mukidza. The first session proved explosive though both sides committed mistakes.
Dukisa missed two early penalties on the right side with Kubu missing one of his two penalties.
KCB were the most affected and would rue their poor decision making and discipline issues. The bankers had four of their line-outs stolen by Kabras as Mukidza missed a penalty.
Mukidza chalked a sizzling overhead kick from the left wing to find Olindi on the right only for the player to knock-on and miss what would have been the match’s opening try.
At one time, Mukidza’s penalty levelled the proceedings at 9-9 as tension rose on the stands before Thomas Okidia and Michael Kimwele were sin-binned.
Kabras would land a penalty try after KCB collapsed the maul before Tanga, who broke through the defence, was tackled high. Dukisa drilled home the resultant penalty to ensure Kabras’s victory.