Rugby Rugby

Impala beat Oilers to retain Kabeberi title

Impala RFC celebrate after winning the Kabeberi Sevens title on September 10, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 10- Impala Saracens successfully defended their Kabeberi Sevens title, wading off the challenge of surprise package Menengai Oilers, beating them 22-5 in a entertaining cup final at the RFUEA Ground on Sunday evening.

Impala used their experience well, closing down the spaces for the high flying Oilers and at the end of the day managed to keep the title they won a year ago and put their season back on track.

“We knew Oilers are good on the ball and if we give them spaces, we will end up hurting ourselves. At the end of the day I think experience counted for us because we knew what to do at crucial moments. But kudos to Oilers I think they are one of the best teams this season and they showed it,” Impala’s Samuel Motari said after the match.

Oilers’ Gibson Weru was gracious in defeat, saying he was pleased with the performance to finish second having come third at the Driftwood Sevens in Mombasa last weekend.

Fans attending Kabeberi Sevens. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

“I couldn’t ask for more from the boys. This is the first time we are making it into a Cup Final and they gave it their all. As a coach I am impressed with their performance. Most of these players don’t have that experience and today, that’s what counted,” Weru told Capital Sport after his side’s performance.

From the onset, Impala didn’t come to play. They shut down Oilers whenever they were in possession and ensured they turned over to keep the ball.

Motari broke the deadlock with a well taken try by Impala, touching down on the left after some neat play with Paul Mustami breaking away through the middle to offload to Motari.

Mark Kwemoi stretched Impala’s lead to 12-0, dotting down and adding the extras. From a well worked turnover, Kwemoi took the ball on the left, turned on the afterburners before blazing on the wing to dot down.

The defending champions added their third try of the final to ensure they went to the break with a healthy 17-0 lead, Mustami dotting down.

Action between Impala and Menengai Oilers at the Kabeberi Sevens final on September 10, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

From the scrum, Anthony Nyandigisi picked up the ball, offloaded to Mustami who spotted space on the right before galloping upfield and touching down. Kwemoi added in the extras.

In the second half, Impala stuck to their strategy, and they were given a one man advantage when Oilers’ Hughes Anjera was sent to the sin bin.

The numerical advantage was used fully when Ian Minjire intercepted a pass from Oilers’ Sam Muregi before sprinting up on the counter to touch down. Mustami’s attempt at the conversion hit the bar but Impala were already up 22-0 on the scoreboard.

Oilers scored a consolation late on through Derrick Kimani who landed down on the right after some patient build up.

Meanwhile, Mwamba’s poor performance in their own tournament continued as they lost out 17-5 to Nakuru RFC in the Champions Trophy final. Their day turned out worse when their junior side Mwamba II lost out to Mount Kenya University in the Division Two final.

“I am disappointed with how we played because this is not the way we intended things to go. I am sorry to our home fans because this was our home tournament and we were supposed to come here and play good rugby but we disappointed,” Mwamba head coach Kevin Wambua said after the match.