KCB Rugby are the 2021 Kenya Cup champions after staging a second-half comeback and scoring a late penalty in the sudden death to edge Kabras 28-25 in the final played at Nandi Bears.
Captain Darwin Mukidza scored a penalty in the extra time to help KCB retain the title for the fourth straight year. They have now beaten Kabras in all the five final encounters.
They join Nondies and Impala Saracens on the list of teams who have won it four times in a row. This is their eighth Kenya Cup since their first title in 2005.
The bankers rose from a slow first half which saw two of their players stretched off with injuries to score 25 points in the closing half which send the game to extra time.
KCB started off by taking the game to Kabras but the hosts held off the early pressure. The hosts got on the scoresheet through a penalty by Ntabeni Dukisa.
The clash had to be halted for several minutes after Jone Kubu and Isaac Njoroge collided in the air and needed medical attention. Njoroge was later sin-binned following the incident and could not continue with the game after his 10 minutes elapsed due to injury. He was replaced by Shaban Ahmed.
Kabras doubled the lead minutes later with Dukisa splitting the posts for a 6-0 lead after another KCB infringement. The hunt for the opening try saw the sugarmen come close to landing the opening try but George Nyambua was denied a chance to touch down.
The Sugarmen finally got the opening try after a scrum in KCB’s territory. Fullback Jone Kubu touched down the first try after Brian Tanga opted to attack the blindside off a scrum in KCB’s five. Kubu at the right corner sold a dummy and touched down for Kabras before Dukisa added the extras for a 13-0 lead.
Minutes later, Kubu, a Fijian Born Kenyan International returned to the scoresheet with another try. Tanga once again fed him off the scrum on the blindside and the fullback forced his way over for the second try.
Dukisa belted in a conversion from the right side for a 20-0.
The game had to be stopped towards the end of the opening half after KCB’s Rocky Aguko picked a nasty leg injury following a tackle by Kabras flanker as he rose from the scrum with an eighth man pick.
Aguko was rushed to the hospital prompting the game to stop at the 37th minute awaiting the ambulance to return.
After a long wait, the game resumed with a scrum for KCB. The bankers then earned a penalty but Darwin Mukidza’s kick went wide.
KCB returned from the break looking brighter and after holding on to possession for the better part of the opening half, Vincent Onyala sold a dummy gained metres past the Kabras defence line and set up winger Jacob Ojee who scored at the left corner. Mukidza was unable to add the extras.
Mukidza amended for his earlier miss to score a penalty that changed the scores to 20-8.
KCB were reduced to 14 following a sin-bin to Andrew Amonde after his late tackle on Kubu who had called for mark in his own 22-metre.
The Sugarmen immediately made the extra-man count immediately with Kubu launching an attack which he completed by setting up Valerian Tendwa with a grubber kick. Dukisa’s kick bounced off the posts with the scores changing to 25-8.
Mukidza continued to build the scoreboard drilling in three more points for a 25-11 trail at the 68th minute. Indiscipline came to haunt them immediately after Amonde return as captain Mukidza was sent off for 10 minutes.
Kabras were also reduced to 14 after Kubu was sin-binned. KCB immediately scored through Amonde after a quick tap from the resultant penalty for a 25-16. The try was converted for a 25-18 scoreline with two minutes to play.
This set up a tensed final two minutes. KCB landed a late converted try to tie the scores at 25-25 at fulltime
Two minutes into the extra time Dukisa was unable to add three more points that would have given the trophy. He then knocked on the ball in his 22 and KCB later earned a penalty at the other end and Mukidza kicked in for a 28-25 win.
Photo Courtesy Denis Acre-Half.
Kabras RFC: 1.Hilary Mwanjilwa 2. Eugene Sifuna, Asuman Mugerwa 4. Hillary Odhiambo 5. Brian Juma 6. George Nyambua 7. Dan Sikuta 8. Jeanson Musoga, 9 Brian Tanga, 10 Ntabeni Dukisa 11.Derrick Ashihundu 12. Bryceson Adaka 13. Timoci Senaite 14 Felix Ayange 15. Jone Kubu
Replacements:16: Teddy Akala17. Joseph Odero 18. Ephraim Oduor 19. Kevin Wekesa 20. Collins Indeche 21. Barry Robinson 22.Valerian Tendwa 23. Alfred Orege
KCB Rugby : 1. Oscar Simiyu, 2. Griffin Musila, 3. Patrick Ouko, 4. Nick Ongeri, 5. Oliver Mangéni, 6. Steve Wamai, 7. Andrew Amonde, 8. Rocky Aguko 9. Samuel Asati 10. Johnstone Olindi 11. Jacob Ojee 12. Peter Kilonzo. Vincent Onyala 14. Isaac Njoroge 15. Darwin Mukidza
REPLACEMENTS 16. James Ochieng, 17. George Gichure, 18. Nelson Nyandat, 19. Brian Munyali, 20. Felix Ojoo, 21. Michael Wanjala, 22. Shaban Ahmed, 23. Levy Amunga