Rugby Super Series: Lions maul hapless Rhinos as Cheetars claw Buffaloes

Photo || Rugby Super Series- KRU

Rugby Super Series: Lions maul hapless Rhinos as Cheetars claw Buffaloes

Mark Kinyanjui 17:38 - 04.05.2024

Here is a recap of Game Week One of the returning Rugby Super Series that took place at the RFUEA Grounds on Saturday.

A ruthless Lions side began their 2024 Rugby Super Series on a high by smashing the tournament’s most successful side Rhinos 29-7 on Game Week One of the tournament which made its return after a 10-year hiatus.

The dilapidated state of the pitch made it difficult for the game to get into a rhythm, with players intent on avoiding injuries in case they unfortunately slipped from the grass’ soggy nature.

However, this did not deter the Lions, who looked set on dominating from the onset.

They took the early initiative through Givens Onyango, who opened the scoring for the Lions with a well-converted try before Elvis Namusasi converted a penalty to extend their lead to 10-0 after 15 minutes.

Co-Captain Obat Kuke would then land their second try of the match, although it was not converted, but still gave them a considerable 15-0 lead after 25 minutes. 

Felix "The Machine" Ojoo would then be the next Lions player to go over the whitewash, landing another converted try from a scrum to extend the Lions' lead to 22-0 going into the break.

The Rhinos just could not get going in the second half. Benjamin Ruga made a fantastic run through the Rhinos' defence, which set up Emmanuel Opondo to land another converted try to make it 29-0.

The Rhinos would be reduced to 14 men when captain Steven Odhiambo was sent to the bin due to repeated infringement, but it did not stop them from getting one converted try back through

In the end, that would be enough to see them get the win, and they will be full of confidence when they face the Cheetahs in Nakuru next week.

Cheetars 18-5 Buffaloes

In the earlier match of the day, the Cheetahs demonstrated their prowess by defeating the Buffaloes 18-5.

Despite challenging playing conditions marred by muddy terrain, the Cheetahs took command early on, leading 15-5 at halftime and maintaining their advantage throughout the game.

Quinto Ongo emerged as a key figure for the Cheetahs, contributing two penalties and a conversion to complement the tries scored by Clinton Juma and Celestine Mboi. 

On the opposing side, Collins Indeche managed to secure the sole try for the Buffaloes, but it was not enough to overcome the Cheetahs' determined defense.

Buffaloes Head Coach Maxwell Adaka attributed the loss to a combination of inexperience and unforced errors.

“Tough luck for us, we had a lot of errors. That coupled with the condition of the pitch means that we have a lot to work on in the next training sessions.” 

Despite their struggles, Adaka remained optimistic about his team's potential, particularly emphasizing their youthful roster as they aim to improve in upcoming matches.

Coach Lawrence Buyachi of the victorious Cheetahs commended his team's resilience and adaptability. 

 “The game was good, it was what we were targeting, and it feels good to win.” Buyachi highlighted the challenges posed by the adverse weather conditions but praised his players for their ability to adjust their tactics accordingly.

The Cheetahs' defensive prowess proved critical in securing the win, particularly in the face of a determined Buffaloes attack in the second half. 

Buyachi credited their defensive strategy, “Our defense pattern came through for us. The boys are well-conditioned, and they were up to the task.”

Felix Odhiambo of the Cheetahs was named Player of the Match for his outstanding contributions on both offense and defense. Buyachi lauded Odhiambo's performance, remarking, “Felix is a very big asset to us, and we are very happy for him.”

Follow Pulse Sports X account for more updates.