Kuto Steers Strathmore to Dala Sevens Trophy

By eric odanga
Aug 04, 2021
  • Strathmore at a past match.(Photo:SNA File)

Cyprian Kuto, a Kenya Sevens squad player scored two tries as Strathmore University beat Mwamba 32-10 to win Dala Sevens at the Kisumu Polytechnic ground, Kisumu on Sunday.

The students who are coached by Mitch Ocholla dethroned Kenya Harlequin FC in this first tournament of the Kenya Rugby Union National Sevens Circuit which is sponsored by Safaricom.

The final was a rematch of a pool encounter which saw Strathmore University win 12-7. But, in the final it was a different story and Ocholla who briefly handled the national seven-a-side team barely gave Mwamba a chance to shine.

Mwamba exerted pressure an early pinning Strathmore University in their half until Cyprian Kuto broke through Mwamba ranks.

This was the first of his dashing runs which saw him score two tries. Charles Omondi opened the scores for Strathmore University.

The students turned on the heat and Geoffrey Githaiga crossed the line for Strathmore’s second try for a 10-0 lead at halftime.

On resumption, Billy Odhiambo - another Kenya Sevens player - scored under the posts and Tony Owuor converted for a 17-0 lead as the game slipped from Mwamba’s hands. In this half, Strathmore University barely gave Mwamba a chance to run with the ball.

A late rally by Mwamba saw Joseph Oriwo break through Strathmore’s ranks for the first time and on the tackle set Edgar Abere free to cross the chalk line. Strathmore led 17-5.

But, the comeback was short lived as Kuto scored the fourth try for Strathmore University to stretch the lead 22-5. He completed his brace for a very healthy 27-5 lead. Churchill Ooko rubbed the salt in Mwamba’s wound with another try to set the bar at 32-5.

Horace Otieno reduced the score line with a solo effort but the name of Strathmore University was already engraved on the trophy.

We Will Come Back Much Stronger,Mwamba

Mwamba Coach Meli Wanibuli admitted they were beaten by a good side.

“It was tough out there. Congratulations to Strathmore. They wanted it more and they got it. We had a lapse in concentration and were punished. The team played well though and we will come back much stronger,” he promised. The winning coach Ocholla said the results spoke volumes.

“Kudos to my boys. They played according to plan. We ensured we were firing on all cylinders, and the results spoke for themselves."

Kuto was the top try scorer with Billy Odhiambo as the most valuable player and Impala’s Anthony Nyandigisi as the top point’s scorer.

In the playoff, Kenya Commercial Bank beat Quins 15-5 to finish third in Kisumu. Brian Omondi opened the scores for KCB as they led 5-0.

Edwin Salamba scored under the posts but missed the conversion for KCB to stretch their lead 10-0 at halftime. Dennis Muhanji pulled one back for Quins as they trailed 5-10. Ian Indimuli scored the third try for KCB to stretch the lead 15-5 and win the playoff.

Sudden death win for Strathmore

In the cup semi finals, Strathmore University beat Quins 15-12. Kuto scored the first try for Strathmore University to lead 5-0.

Humphrey Owuor added the second try for a 10-0 lead at halftime. On resumption, Arthur Ochieng narrowed the gap with a try for Quins and Kevin Keegan converted as Strathmore University narrowly led 10-7. Quins took the lead, 12-10 with an unconverted try by Dennis Muhanji.

Tony Owuor scored at death for Strathmore University to win 15-12 and reach the final. In the second semi final, Daniel Sikuta opened the scores for Mwamba and Bonke Atandi converted for a 7-0 lead. KCB replied with a try by Stafford Abeka from a turnover ball.

Abere stretched the lead to 12-5 with a try for Mwamba. Jacob Ojee scored at the corner for KCB. A crucial conversion by Fabian Olando to force a sudden death went wide as Mwamba narrowly won 12-10 to book a date with Strathmore University in the final.

Last year’s Dala Sevens champions, Quins beat Western Bulls 12-7 in sudden death after tying 7-7 at regulation time to reach the semifinal in one of the closest matches of the second day which was played in better weather conditions.

In the other categories, Impala won the Plate by beating Western Bulls 24-5. Sam Onsomu scored two tries while Sam Oliech, Robert Aringo and Anthony Nyandigisi added one try each. Nyandigisi kicked over one conversion. Hosts Kisumu took the Bowl with a 29-0 win over Stormers while Mean machine beat Eldoret University 19-5 in the Shield final.

Day two results Main Cup quarters: Quins 12 Western Bulls 7 (sudden death), Strathmore University 32 Daystar University 0, KCB 10 Impala 5, Homeboyz 7 Mwamba 12; Semi finals: Quins 12 Strathmore University 15, KCB 10 Mwamba 12; Final: Strathmore University v Mwamba. Playoff: Quins 15 KCB 5. Plate semis: Western Bulls 15 Daystar University 0, Impala 31 Homeboyz 12; Final: Western Bulls 5 Impala 24. Bowl quarters: Blak Blad 7 Mean Machine 5, Egerton University 7 Stormers 10, Kisumu 27 Eldoret University 7, Nakuru 17 KCA University 0; Semi finals: Blak Blad 7 Stormers 10, Kisumu 10 Nakuru 7; Final: Stormers 0 Kisumu 29. Shield semis: Mean Machine 14 Egerton University 5, Eldoret University 24 KCA University 10; Final: Mean Machine 19 Eldoret University 5.

Second division Bowl quarters: Eldoret University 19 Molo 0, Kisii 41 Siaya MTC 0, Kericho 14 Mt. Kenya University 0, Webuye v JKUAT (11.00 am). Main Cup quarters: TUK v Mumias (11.20), Catholic University v Masaku (11.40), Bungoma v Kabras (12.00 pm), Comras v Kakamega (12.20).