Machine grind Strathmore, KCB cede Kenya Cup lead

Nick Ongeri (with ball) of KCB RFC is tackled by Blak Blad RFC players during ...
Nick Ongeri (with ball) of KCB RFC is tackled by Blak Blad RFC players during their Kenya Cup match at the KCB Sports Club in Ruaraka, Nairobi on February 04, 2017. KCB RFC won 47-0. Photo/Stafford Ondego/

Mean Machine delivered the Kenya Cup upset of the round as they claimed a 26-5 win over Strathmore Leos to register their first away win of the season on Saturday.

The win took them level on 12 points with Blak Blad who were overpowered by visitors Top Fry Nakuru at the Kenyatta University Grounds.

Leaders heading into the 15th round, KCB slid two places down the log as Resolution Impala Saracens won 24-27 to condemn them to only their second defeat of the campaign.

The Sarries remained fourth on the standings, four points behind KCB while Menengai Cream Homeboyz shot onto top of the standings with a 36-26 win over hosts Western Bulls at the Bull Ring in Kakamega.

Kenya Harlequins moved into second with their first ever win over Kabras Sugar in Kakamega, posting a 19-13 victory to leave the champions appalled at fifth.

KCB fans cut frustrated figures across the Impala Grounds having turned up in large numbers only to witness their team overran on home turf by a clinical Sarries side.

The hosts started brightly, dominating the opening proceedings and forcing their opponents on the back foot but failed to find the penetrating move.

The visitors held tight at the back, resorting to defensive tactics as they sort to avoid early concession.

KCB however found their breakthrough when top scorer Darwin Mukidza coolly converted two penalty kicks to hand the hosts a 6-0 lead.

Impala grew into the match as Paul Mutsami went over the whitewash after a neat exchange with Robin Kiplangat for the conversion.

They subsequently upped their tempo, launching frequent attacks on KCB whose influence in the match seemed to have faded.

However, Impala were caught unawares after KCB’s Peter Kilonzo launched a quick counterattack a started by KCB’s Peter Kilonzo

Impala reacted immediately as Seje Owade grounded a second that was followed up with followed up with Robin Kiplangat’s five pointer.

The ensuing conversion went over, putting Impala 17-9 ahead, before the break.

After the resumption KCB launched a comeback as Peter Kilonzo and Peter Waitere found two quick tries to move ahead of Impala on 19-17.

It provided the wakeup call as they seemed to have relaxed following their convincing performance in the first stanza.

Despite KCB repulsing several of their attacks it was evident that at some point they would bow on and concede to the pressure that was being mounted by their opponents.

The duo of Leon Odongo and Duncan Ekasi was a problem to KCB’s backline with their marauding runs on the wins posing a threat whenever they had the ball.

Their endeavors were awarded as they both put their names on the score sheets to help stretch its lead to 27-19 putting the match beyond KCB’s reach.

When Mukidza went over, it was already too late for KCB to pull a comeback.

-Report by Mwangi Githinji.

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