Kenya Simbas put up a clinical display to defeat Leopards 51-34 in a historic Currie Cup match played at RFUEA Grounds on Saturday evening.
It marked Kenya Simbas second win in the competition with their first having come against Border Bulldogs. Paul Odera’s charges scored three tries, two penalties and two conversions against Leopards’ two converted tries for a 25-14 scoreline at the break. In the final half, the Simbas added four tries to seal off the win.
The host started off impressively and Darwin Mukidza drilled in two penalties for a 6-0 lead. The visitors would cut the deficit when they won the ball off a line-out and quick hands saw the ball delivered to Poienaar van Niekerk. Niekerk’s fancy footwork saw him beat Kenya’s defence to score the first try of the match. The resultant conversion was on target earning the Leopards a one-point lead.
The try broke open the game and Simbas would earn two successive tries in a span of 10 minutes. First it was Mukidza who sold a dummy to beat Leopards fullback and made a beautiful run to score the first try for the Simbas. He belted in conversion for a 15-7 lead.
Minutes later openside winger Derrick Ashihundu struck with an unstoppable run and he powered through to the try box for a try that pushed the scores to 20-7.
The visitors would respond with try after their back pounced on his kick for a converted try that cut the deficit to 20-14 in the 31st minute.
The Simbas hit back again stretching the lead when fly-half Dominic Coulson collected a loose pass by his teammate in Leopards dangerzone and barged over for the third try that saw the scores change to 25-14 after Mukidza shanked his kick while attempting to add the extras. The teams headed to the break with Simbas leading by 11 points.
Vincent Onyala opened the second half scoring account as he beat his markers on the left and raced over to score the fourth try. Mukidza easily banged in a conversion for a 32-14.
The South Africans would get the third converted try at the 56th minute for the scores to read 32-21.
The hosts widened the gap three minutes later when Mukidza flung a long pass to Beldad Ogeta who accelerated to score the fifth try but Mukidza’s conversion flew wide.
Keenan Twigg came off the bench to score the fourth converted try for the SA side as the scores changed to 37-28.
Eugene Sifuna also came off the bench and immediately scored at the other end for a try that was converted by Mukidza for a 44-28.
Simbas once again conceded at the other end and the scoreline changed to 44-35. Another substitute Thomas Okeyo scored before the buzzer.
Kenya Simbas will play Eastern Province Leopards next weekend in the final match of the tournament scheduled for RFUEA.
Kenya Simbas squad : 1. Edward Mwaura 2. Teddy Akala 3. Ephraim Oduor 4. Emmanuel Silungi 5. Davis Chenge 6. George Nyambua 7. Dan Sikuta 8. Bethuel Anami 9. Samuel Asati 10. Dominic Coulson 11. Beldad Ogeta 12. John Okoth 13. Vincent Onyala 14. Derrick Ashihundu 15. Darwin Mukidza
16. Eugene Sifuna 17. Andrew siminyu 18. Joseph Odera 19. Thomas Okeyo 20. Martin Owilah 21. Brian Tanga 22. Bryson Adaka 23. Matoka Matoka
Leopards:15. Duren Hoffman,14. Poienaar van Niekerk, 13. Andries Truter©, 12. Vuyo Mboto, 11. Quan Eymann, 10. Martin Venter, 9. Shirwin Cupido, 1. Ruben du Plessis, 2. Robey Leibrandt, 3. Joe Ngcem, 4. Marvelous Mashumbyi, 5. Vince Maruping, 6.Gustav Erlank, 7.Brice Nteta, 8.HP Swart
REPLACEMENTS 16.Tiaan van Niekerk, 17.JP Mans, 18.Sampie Swiegers, 19.Matrco van Deventer, 20.Tjaart Benadie, 21.Eugene Hare,22.Riaan Genis, 23.Keenan Twigg