Hosts Impala RFC will play 2007 winners Kenya Commercial Bank RFC when the curtains fall on the 27th edition of he Impala Floodlit Rugby Tournament on Saturday 23rd May 209.
The two sides qualified for the final in contrasting fashion. A resurgent KCB edged out 2008 Kenya Cup champions Kenya Harlequin FC 20-12 in a thriller-a-minute semi final while the Gazelles of Impala blitzed past defending champions Mwamba RFC 33-0 in a one sided semi final. KCB 20 Kenya Harlequin 12 (ht 15-12)
There is never a dull moment KCB play Quins. Saturday's semi final was just another installment to the epic battles between the two sides and the fans got their money's worth.
KCB went for the kill right from kick off, pinning Quins to their half but their early pressure failed to pay off and indeed Quins who soaked up the pressure before notching the first points on the board when Chris Oduor touched down on 22 minutes to give them a 5-0 lead. Jude Thumbi missed the conversion.Oduor's try seemingly injected life into the hitherto tense, closed game as both sides picked up the attacking impetus. Young Dedan Omondi sprinted fourty yards to score KCB's equalizer. Edwin Mutai missed the conversion as the teams were tied 5-5. Ken Isindu, one of the stand out players for hosts Kenya at the recent IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy stretched the bankers lead, finishing off a good rub from their backs. Kiprono was sure with this conversion to take the scores to 12-5. The first half continued to be an edgy affair and when KCB extended their lead from a Kiprono penalty following a Quins infringement, they were coasting. Former Impala player Naftali Bondo had other ideas, his converted try on 37 minutes made for an interesting end to the first half. Thumbi missed a goal attempt after Quins were awared a penalty on the stroke of half time. The two sides went into the interval with KCB leading Quins 15-12.
Quins got the second half underway but were under pressure from KCB. Quins defended well and gave as good as they got in attack.David Mogere and George Odipo featured prominently for the league champions, forcing KCB into errors. Thumbi missed two goal attempts after Quins won two penalties on 59 and 62 minutes. Quins continued to pile the pressure, knowing that an unanswered try of any sort would win them the game but they had to contend several things going against them; a solid KCB defence and when they broke through, Mogere's hands contrived to spill the ball with the try line beckoning. Isindu made Quins pay for missed chances when he completed his brace in typical fashion, barging over the try line on 72 minutes. KCB 20 Quins 12.
This try naturally set up an exciting finish to the match. Quins doing all the attacking, KCB all the defending. No more points were scored as the game ended 20-12 to KCB.
Speaking after the match, Michael "Tank" Otieno, in his third term as KCB coach said, "everything went well, we palyed according to our game plan." His Quins counterpart Edward "Ogre" Kinyany felt aggrieved by some refereeing decisions but said ,"the game was good."
Impala 33 Mwamba 0
This was on paper a closely contested match. The hosts playing the hosts in the knock out stages of a tournament. Impala had other ideas, soon expressed by Paul Oimbo who scored a try two minutes into the game. Moses Kola converted for a 7-0 lead Nato Simiyu soon added a drop goal as the match degenerated into a one sided affair, Impala taking charge of this game leading 10-0. Moses Mwole and Kenya Under 20 international Joel Omer scored a try each as the Gazelles led Kulabu 20-0 at the breather.
Two Kola penalties and Simiyu's converted try rounded off an effortless night for the Gazelles who ran off 33-0 winners, booking a berth in next weekend's final against KCB.
Mwamba were always bound to struggle as the very influential Humphery Kayange, Collins Injera, Lavin Asego,Victor Oduor and Horace Otieno missed this match by virtue of being in the Shujaa squad to the final leg of the IRB Sevens World Series in London and Edinburgh.
In the U-20 tournament, favourites Strathmore were disqualified for fielding an inelligible player and miss out on a final berth despite beating Mwamba in the semi final.
Hosts Impala sailed through courtesy of a win over neighbours Kenya Harlequin.