Third time lucky for Northern Suburbs

By francis marangu
Mar 19, 2021
  • Northern Suburbs won their third tournament. (Photo Courtesy KRU)

Hosts Impala RFC played in their first-ever Kenya Rugby Union women’s league final but lost 5-31 to Northern Suburbs at the Impala Club on Sunday.

Northern Suburbs have now won three out of four legs heading to the last leg slated for the Easter weekend in Nakuru.

The two sides were unbeaten on their way to the final after topping their respective pools.

Kenyan international Janet Okello stole the show in the fourth leg by single handedly guiding Northern Suburbs to victory in the absence of Philadelphia Olando.

Her name was on the scoresheet for every match they played scoring four tries in one match as well as a hat trick and a brace in two matches.

In the final match, Nancy Apiyo scored the first try for Impala after exerting pressure on their opponents inside their 22. Impala were awarded two successive penalties that confirmed their dominance.

Okello pulled back two tries and a conversion for Nothern Suburbs to lead 12-5. Sheila Muindi added another try for a 17-5 halftime lead.

On resumption, Jean Bisela scored a try which Okello converted to stretch the lead 24-5.

Okello then kicked and chased her ball to complete the hattrick before adding the extras.

Best run for Impala

The loss was a sour ending for Impala's best run since the league started three years back.

Playing in Pool B, they rose to the occasion with wins over Nakuru RFC, Homeboyz RFC and Comras.

They beat  a weakened Homeboyz 10-0. Homeboyz were hugely affected by the absence of Kenya Lionesses players.

Judith Auma touched added a brace for the win. She also scored two tries against Nakuru whom they beat 17-7. Scholastica Okai added a third try with Nancy Apiyo converting.

Freshia Awino scored a second half try converted by Veronica Wanjiku for Nakuru.

Auma was on the score sheet again as Impala saw off Comras 29-0 with tries from Caroline Achieng and Sylvia Khalumba as they led 10-0 at halftime.

In the second half, Auma’s try added to a brace by Nancy Apiyo and two conversions from Anne Njeri.

Impala beat Mwamba RFC 12-0 in the semifinals.

In this match, they capitalized on two yellow cards to Damima Duffield and Ashley Mulaba in the first half to kill off the game before the interval.

Auma crossed the line twice with Apiyo slotting one conversion.

Stellar performance

Northern Suburbs were in a class of their own anchored on the stellar performance from Okello.

In their opening fixture, Okello scored three tries as they won 39-0 gainst University Warriors. She kicked over two conversions.

Bisela scored twice with Stephanie Akeyo and Christabel Tata adding a try each.

Suburbs then beat Shamas 26-0. Okello scored two tries and added three conversions. Bisela and Janet Kerubo added a try each.

They came up against rivals Mwamba in the last group match and won 24-0 with Okello accounting for all the points.

She touched down four times and converted twice.

In the semifinals, Northern Suburbs eliminated Nakuru 22-0.

Okello and Bisela grabbed a brace each with Okello kicking over a conversion.

Nakuru finish third

Nakuru finished third after beating Mwamba 15-7 in the playoff.

Vivian Akumu made a run on the right wing to score the opening try for Nakuru before Colletta Auma added a second for 10-0 at halftime.

Martha Wanjiku scored the third try upon resumption.

Mwamba scored late through Christine Adongo and converted by Sarah Oluchi. Nakuru needed the last pool match to be assured of a place in the knockouts.

They played Homeboyz in a must-win decider for both sides after Impala had qualified as the pool leader.

They won 15-0 with tries from Vivian Akumu, Colletta Auma who scored after Nakuru connected eight passes from a scrumdown and Freshia Awino in the second half.

Homeboyz finished fifth after beating Comras 27-0 in the ranking final. They had won 29-0 over University Warriors in the ranking semifinal fixture.

Shamas came seventh after beating University Warriors 12-5 in the second ranking final. In the semifinals, Shamas lost 5-10 to Comras.

Results

Pool A: Suburbs 39 Warriors 0, Mwamba 10 Shamas 0, Mwamba 27 Warriors 0, Suburbs 26 Shamas 0, Suburbs 24 Mwamba 0, Shamas 10 Warriors 0;

Pool B: Homeboyz 17 Comras 5, Nakuru 7 Impala 17, Homeboyz 0 Impala 10, Nakuru 25 Comras 0, Impala 29 Comras 0, Homeboyz 0 Nakuru 15.

Semifinals

Ranking: Shamas 5 Comras 10, Homeboyz 29 Warriors 0.

Main Cup: Nakuru 0 Suburbs 22, Impala 12 Mwamba 0.

Finals

Ranking: Shamas 12 Warriors 5, Homeboyz 27 Comras 0.

Third-place: Nakuru 15 Mwamba 7.

Main Cup: Impala 5 Suburbs 31.