Strathmore Leos got steamrolled by a stronger and more tactical Nakuru RFC side in the finals of the Kenya cup on Saturday played at Kasarani stadium. The finals were expected to be a tantalizing affair after the two finalists saw off traditional power houses of rugby. Strath Leos made it to their first finals in their less than 10 years in the league.
The last time a varsity team won the Kenya cup was in 1993 when UoN’s Mean Machine lifted the cup. Nakuru RFC, or ‘Wanyore’ as it is fondly known by fans, made history as the first club outside Nairobi to win the cup.
Leading 19-3 at half time, Menengai Oil Nakuru cruised to a 37-3 win over the Leos. The match, played before an estimated crowd of 6000 under the floodlights, saw both teams size up each in the opening stages but it was Strathmore who broke the deadlock when Marvin Sumba’s penalty following a Nakuru infringement put them up 3-0 up.
Nakuru went on the offensive from the restart, making forays into Strathmore territory, forcing the Leos into an infringement. Marting Muita leveled with a successful goal attempt before Godfrey Mbea put them 8-3 up, racing to the try line after incessant pressure from his side.
Kenya centre Kelvin Omiyo was played after former Kenya Sevens international Gibson Weru and Muita exchanged passes, breaching the gain line with a storming run and tacked short of the Strathmore 22. Philip Owuor would subsequently touchdown with Muita missing the conversion as Nakuru led 16-3.
Nakuru stuck to Coach Situma’s advice of denying the students possession, curtailing the potentially lethal Leos flowing game. Nakuru surged forward upon regaining possession, Lawrence Buyachi scoring a pushover try with Muita converting for a 26-3 lead.
Strathmore wing Tony Onyango threatened to breach the Nakuru try line, but was stopped short and lost possession as Nakuru went for the kill. Two Muita penalties either side of the Calvin Otieno’s unconverted try sealed Strathmore’s fate, the 37-3 final score ensured that the Kenya Cup would leave Nairobi for the first time in 43 years. History had been made.
Photos: Michael Kwambo