Last minute changes cost Mwamba

By francis marangu
Mar 12, 2021
  • Herman Humwa of Kenya Harlequin FC comes up against Louis Kisia in a Kenya Cup match at Nairobi Railway Club. Quins won 27-5 inflicting the third home defeat to Mwamba. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Last-minute forced changes to the starting lineup worked against Mwamba RFC as they lost 5-27 to Kenya Harlequin FC in a Kenya Cup match at Nairobi Railway Club on Saturday.

This was the third home loss for Mwamba in Kenya Cup this season having earlier lost to Impala RFC and KCB. Winger Hyke Otieno and center Mike Agevi who were named in the starting fifteen were late arrivals for the match.

It forced head coach John Mbai to replace them with Shaban Ahmed and Chris Asego. Captain Salaton Muturi was also ruled out late with illness and John Mkalla did the hooking job for Kulabu. Lavin Asego took over the captaincy.

“The changes were forced by circumstances and there is nothing we would have done,” Mbai explained.

Quins who were dominant at the break downs starved Mwamba of possession in first half and led 17-0 at half time. Mwamba had some glaring poor ball handling.

Head coach Joel Ng’ang’a praised his forwards for ensuring the win went their way. “They laid the platform for our backs to do the damage and that is one area we wanted to come out strong this season,” he told Sports News Arena.

“We slackened a bit in the second half and Mwamba played well.” Ng’ang’a said fighting for top spot with rivals Impala has no dimension in their good showing. “For us it's not about Impala because the urge to win this league is burning inside us. We don't care whether it's Impala or Kabras who are at the top but we are fighting to be at the top.”

Keegan under focus

Kevin Keegan was the man under focus for Quins in the opening 10 minutes. He missed a penalty attempt in the seventh minute but made amends two minutes later with a try he converted for 7-0. He intercepted a Mwamba pass at the half line and made a defense-splitting run to touch down.

Mwamba had their own penalty in the 15th minute but Lavin Asego missed. Quins made several visits to Mwamba’s 22 and mauled heavily which resulted in a 20th minute try by James Kang’ethe extending the lead to 12-0.

Eight minutes later, Quins had a scrum in the opponent’s 22 and Brian Okwomi touched down for 17-0. Second half was a different as Mwamba rose to the challenge. They kept Quins under pressure by playing more into their half.

Substitute Kevin Atandi was outstanding making good breaks. Bernard Nyambok was sent to the sin bin for a dangerous tackle on Victor Wayodi in the 46th minute but Mwamba could not use the numerical advantage.

In the 70th minute, Lavin Asego made a long kick across the field of play to the waiting hands of substitute Louis Kisia who scored the only try for Mwamba.

Quins secured the bonus point with two quick tries by Peter Misango and Felix Ayange. With 51 points, Quins managed to reduce the gap at the top to four points after leaders Impala beat KCB 19-15. It was a tough match that tied 10-10 at halftime.

In other results, Homeboyz RFC beat Blak Blad 48-12, Strathmore University won 43-0 against Nondescripts RUFC, Western Bulls beat Bungoma Sharks 51-0 while Nakuru RFC won 67-5 against Thika RFC.

Results

Mwamba RFC 5 Quins 27, Impala RFC 19 KCB 15, Strathmore 43 Nondies 0, Western Bulls 51 Bungoma Sharks 0, Nakuru RFC 67 Thika RFC 5, Homeboyz RFC 48 Blak Blad 12.