The Rhinos have reclaimed the Bamburi Rugby Super Series title with a 30-13 win over the Buffaloes at the RFUEA on Saturday.
Simon Wariuki scored a drop goal within the opening minutes as Buffaloes led 3-0. The Rhinos patiently inched back into the game, battling the Buffaloes in the forwards in what was an intensely fought first half.
Tempers frayed on 35 minutes with a brawl breaking out between the two sides, causing a five minute delay.
On resumption, Buffaloes Martin Opondo was sin binned, reducing the Nakuru based side to 14 men.
Big George Mbaye of the Rhinos scored a try from the resultant penalty. Jude Thumbi missed the conversion as the Rhinos led for the first time, 8-3. Thumbi scored a penalty on 38 minutes while former Lions player John "Meso" Ahenda stole in on the blind side right on half time to give the Rhinos a 13-3 lead going into the half time break. SECOND HALF
The Buffaloes started this half on a positive note, pressing the Rhinos and were rewarded with a Kevun Otieno try on 46 minutes. Wariuki's conversion cut the deficit to 13-10. Sensing a Buffaloes backlash, the Rhinos brought on IRB Sevens Circuit top try scorer Collins Injera to add impetus to their attack.
This move eventually paid dividends with the Rhinos scoring a try through Patrick Onyango on 63 minutes. Thumbi was sure with the conversion as the score board read 20-10 to the Rhinos. Wariuki scored a second drop goal on 66 minutes, taking the score to 20-13.
Hungry for the crown, the Rhinos scored two more unconverted tries. Mbaye completing his double on 70 minutes while captain Daniel Kiptoo scoring on 75 minutes as they ran out 30-13 winners, adding to previous BRSS titles in 2003 and 2007.
Backrower David Mogere had a stand out performance for the Rhinos.
Pascal Wetukha, the Buffaloes coach, blamed his side's defeat on over confidence, but he was quick to add that the Buffaloes, who are largely comprised of Enterprise Cup champions Nakuru RFC will be a force to reckon with during the regular club season.
Earlier, Uganda's Rwenzori edged out Kenya's Nguvu Sharks 22-19 to claim third place.