KCB Rugby Club have retained the Impala Floodlit title.
The bankers weathered a strong challenge from Nondescripts, scoring two converted tries in the second half to win 20-3 at the Impala Sports Club on Saturday.
Curtis Olago’s side was forced to dig deep, managing two converted tries and two penalties to seal their fifth consecutive Impala Floodlit victory.
Prop Oscar Sarano and flanker Andrew Amonde touched a try each off the mauls as fullback Isaac Njoroge and centre Levy Amunga converted respectively. Njoroge added two penalties.
Fullback Salem Benson slotted over Nondies penalty as they missed three penalties and two drop goals that could have won the match.
The victory saw KCB equal the University of Nairobi’s Mean Machine’s record of nine victories at the Impala Floodlit.
KCB skipper Peter Warutere praised his charges for their spirited fight and resilience as his Nondescripts counterpart Steven Odhiambo rued their missed chances and wrong decisions that cost them victory.
Nondies were eyeing their fourth cup success, having won the inaugural edition in 1983 before clinching the 2002 and 2012 titles.
“The first half was challenging after we got into their 22 metres with ease but failed to pile in points. They had a good defence that kept us under pressure which saw us suffer many turnovers,” said Warutere, adding that good execution in the last 10 minutes changed the tide in their favour.
Warutere said the victory is a sign of good things to come in the new season where they aim to recapture the Kenya Cup and Enterprise Cup titles they lost to Kabras Sugar Rugby.
Odhiambo said they managed the game well but their kickers had a bad day in office. “We failed to convert penalties from good positions and such mistakes get punished when you are playing a good side like KCB,” said Odhiambo.
Nevertheless, Odhiambo said they are a young team that is still learning with the average age of 23.
“We shall get better every day as we focus on winning the Championship next season and return to Kenya Cup,” explained Odhiambo, adding that meeting the top two teams in the country and managing to beat one gives them hope.
Nondies stunned last year’s Kenya Cup losing finalists Menengai Oilers 16-11 in the semi-finals.
Nondies coach Oliver Callum said they are definitely disappointed having let off the match after they dominated for 65 to 70 minutes.
“The three missed penalties and poor decision making by going for two drop goals that missed cost us,” said Callum, who was still proud of his players’ performance.
Njoroge gave KCB the lead from a penalty as Nondies put up a good defence to keep the bankers at bay in the ferocious battle of the cats.
Nondies winger Sankara Wafula was sin-binned for a high tackle but KCB still failed to break through the Red Lion’s 22m zone.
Benson tried to go for a drop goal in KCB’s 22m area but the ball went wide as he also missed a penalty. KCB led 3-0 at the break.
Menengai Oilers finished third after they edged out Blak Blad from Kenyatta University 23-12 in the play-off.
Nakuru Universities combined claimed the Universities title after beating United States International University (USIU) 45-22 in the final.