Kenya Simbas picked their first win in the Currie Cup first division campaign after a defeating Border Bulldogs 35-12 at Davidson Stadium on Saturday evening.
Paul Odera coached side had fallen in their opening three matches and were keen to end their winless streak against a side that had also failed to win in their opening four matches.
Kenya Simbas had a bright start in the match and put pressure on their hosts to win a penalty in the attacking 22. Off the lineout, the Simbas went for a maul which was powerfully shoved and gave Brian Waraba a chance to score the opening try.
Geoffrey Ominde was sure with his conversion to add two extra points from the tee for a 7-0.
The host had a chance to trim the gap after a penalty in Simbas 22 but their kicker sent the ball wide.
Kenya Simbas went on to pin their opponents in their 22 before the 20th minute but failed to make their chances count with their series of of attacks ending when Ominde was held up.
Another chance was wasted when unmarked Dan Sikuta on the right wing knocked on the ball just before he crossed over. The hosts failed to clear their lines off the resultant scrum and Simbas regained the ball but again failed to earn points from it.
Bulldogs would rattle the Simbas but they failed to gather the ball after a kick and chase, missing the chance to score. They later grew into the game and after minutes of possession, they landed a try at the 33rd minute.
A minute to halftime, the Simbas won a penalty and Ominde went for a penalty kick that he converted for a 10-7 lead.
The Simbas then had several chances before the halftime break. The opponents however defended well to deny the Simbas on those ocassions. To break the lines, Vincent Onyala had to sell a dummy that left his markers well beaten and sliced through for a try. Ominde couldnt add the extras and the Simbas took a 15-7 lead to the break.
With the Simbas having struggled in breaking Bulldogs defence in crucial areas, Odera brought in playmaker Jone Kubu at the start of the second half.
Kubu’s impact was felt immediately as he danced past the defence and released a pass to open winger Timothy Okwemba who raced and scored a try for a 20-7 after a missed conversion by Darwin Mukidza.
The hosts increase the tempo towards the hour’s mark and after spells of knocking at Simbas door, they landed an unconverted try for that changed the scores to 20-12.
Kubu’s grubber kick at the other end saw the Simbas earn the fourth try via Bethuel Anami as the scores changed to 25-12.
The Simbas stretched the lead further with two minutes to play. Once again, it was Kubu who created the chance. Off a scrum in Bulldogs 22, the fly-half attacked the blind side drawing his markers in before releasing a sublime pass to Okwemba to score the fifth try and his second of the day.
Kubu sealed the Simbas victory by scoring a penalty just before the fulltime hooter.
Kenya Simbas squad: 1. Ephraim Oduor, 2. Brian Waraba, 3. Joseph Odero, 4.Brian Juma, 5. Thomas Okeyo, 6. Dan Sikuta, 7. Brian Ndirangu, 8 Bethuel Anami, 9. Brian Tanga, 10. Geoffrey Ominde, 11. Derrick Ashihundu, 12John Okoth, 13.Vincent Onyala, 14 Timothy Okwemba, 15. Darwin Mukidza.
16. Eugene Sifuna, 17. Edward Mwaura, 18. Patrick Ouko, 19. Clinton Odhiambo, 20. Brian Amaitsa, 21. Brian Wahinya 22. Jone Kubu, 23. Peter Kilonzo