Rugby Super Series: Cheetahs claw Lions as Buffaloes outpower spirited Rhinos

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Rugby Super Series: Cheetahs claw Lions as Buffaloes outpower spirited Rhinos

Mark Kinyanjui 18:31 - 11.05.2024

Menengai Cream Cheetahs maintain winning start against KCB Bank Lions as Kabras Sugar Buffaloes overcome Faiba Rhinos.

The Menengai Cream Cheetahs maintained their winning momentum from Round One of the returning Rugby Super Series as they overcame KCB Bank Lions 18-16 at the Nakuru Athletic Club on Saturday.

The game began with the KCB Bank Lions capitalizing on infringements from the Menengai Cream Cheetahs, gaining an early lead with a penalty, putting them ahead 3-0.

As the first half progressed, the Menengai Cream Cheetahs displayed their mastery of the challenging conditions, seizing an opportunity to score the first try of the match. The halftime score stood at KCB Bank Lions 3 - 7 Menengai Cream Cheetahs.

In the second half, the KCB Bank Lions fought back, narrowing the gap with another penalty from Elvis Namusasi, bringing the score to 6-7 in favor of the Menengai Cream Cheetahs.

However, the Cheetahs swiftly responded with points of their own, capitalizing on KCB Bank Lions' infringements to extend their lead to 10-6.

The game continued to be a back-and-forth battle of points, with Namusasi adding another penalty for the Lions, bringing the score to 9-10. However, a decisive moment came when Beldad Ogeta of the Cheetahs dove over for a try in the rain, extending their lead to 15-9, though the conversion attempt was unsuccessful.

Phillip Okeyo added three points on the scoreboard for the Menengai Cream Cheetahs from a drop kick to effectively seal the victory and maintain their lead at the top of the table. Mannaseh Okeyo did get a converted try over the line, but it was not enough to see them restore parity.

In the end, it would be the Cheetahs who would claim the victory. 18-16 the final score stood.

Buffaloes edge spirited Rhinos

In the earlier match, the Kabras Sugar Buffaloes clinched their first victory of the Rugby Super Series, defeating the Faiba Mobile Rhinos 27-21 in a hard-fought battle.

Griffin Chao emerged as the hero of the match, showcasing his brilliance from the left wing and propelling the youthful Kabras side, coached by former Kenya international Max Adaka, to a well-deserved triumph over the spirited Faiba Mobile Rhinos.

The game kicked off with both teams eager for a win, with each side seeking their maiden victory in the Rugby Super Series. The Rhinos made an early breakthrough, with John Aswani scoring a try, swiftly followed by Evin Asena's successful conversion, giving them a 7-0 lead.

However, the Buffaloes quickly retaliated, with Man of the Match Griffin Chao darting past defenders to land a crucial try at the center post. Eric Cantona's successful conversion leveled the scores. Both teams then saw players sent to the sin bin, with Faiba Mobile Rhinos' Sheldon Kahi and Kabras' Eric Cantona facing temporary expulsion for infringements.

Despite Cantona's absence, Kabras took the lead through captain Geoffrey Shitambasi's try from a dominant maul, with Samuel Omollo adding the extras for a 14-7 halftime lead.

The second half witnessed Chao's brilliance once again as he scored his second try, extending Kabras' lead. However, the Rhinos fought back valiantly, with hooker Adam Mugo and Amon Wamalwa contributing tries and penalties to level the scores at 21-21.

Yet, it was Kabras Sugar Buffaloes who emerged victorious as Eric Cantona sealed the win with two crucial penalties, securing a well-deserved triumph for his side.

With this crucial win, the Kabras Sugar Buffaloes draw level on points with the Menengai Cream Cheetahs, setting the stage for an exciting season ahead. Reflecting on the game, Rhinos boss Calum Oliver lamented his side's missed opportunities and unforced errors but acknowledged the positives of their performance.

Looking ahead, the Kabras Sugar Buffaloes will face the formidable KCB Bank Lions in their next fixture, buoyed by the confidence gained from their hard-fought victory

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