Vincent Onyala bagged a brace as Kenya Simbas staged a remarkable comeback to beat Eastern Province Leopards 41-24 in a Currie Cup match played at RFUEA Ground on Saturday.
The Simbas end the competition with three wins and have 18 points. For EP Elephants they are through to semis having sealed the second spot.
Paul Odera charges were off an impressive 51-35 win over Leopards last weekend and were seeking to end the campaign on high note. They had to endure a tough start with the EP Elephants putting up a strong forward surge.
By the 15th minute the visitors were 17-0 up and it looked like Kenya had an uphill task to comeback into the game. The visitors had scored three tries and converted one for an early lead. Kenya had lost lock Malcolm Onsando after yellow card.
While EP were in the chase for the fourth try they spilled the ball in contact. Kenya quickly launched a counter attack on the left side and Collins Injera who was on a break set up Onyala with an inside pass beating the last marker. Onyala then paced on to score a try which Dominic Coulson failed to convert.
Minutes later, the Simbas put up a strong fight and ended up winning a penalty which Coulson belted in for a 17-8 scoreline.
Just before the halftime break, the Simbas who put up a strong challenge in attempt to trim the gap scored through Onsando but the conversion attempt was off target as the scores changed to 17-11.
EP Elephants widened the gap just before halftime break after a clearance by Simbas fell in Mbembe Payi’s hands. He quickly beat his markers before feeding Rodney Damons for a dive try at the left corner flag.
Mattheus Garrick got his second conversion right for a 24-13 lead at the break.
In the second half, it was the Simbas who struck first. Injera managed to fend off his markers and slipped off to score the Simbas third try and it was easily converted for a 24-20 scoreline.
The Simbas led for the first time in match in the 49th minute. It was after fullback Darwin Mukidza had a break on the right side and went on to score a try and added the extras for a 27-25 lead.
EP fluffed the chance to tie the scores at 27-27 when Merlynn Pieterse missed the target from a penalty. The Simbas were give a penalty try for 34-27 lead.
The visitors lost Athenkosi Manentsa to a yellow card and Simbas made the one man advantage count scoring through Onyala for a 41-24 win.
The Simbas now focus on the final preparations before heading to France for the World Cup qualifiers set for July.
Kenya Simbas: 15.Darwin Mukidza, 14. Jacob Ojee, 13. Vincent Onyala, 12. John Okoth, 11. Collins Injera, 10. Dominic Coulson, 9. Samuel Asati, 1. Patrick Ouko, 2. Brian Waraba, 3. Ephraim Oduor, 4. Malcolm Onsando (VC), 5. Thomas Okeyo, 6. George Nyambua (C), 7. Martin Owila, 8. Bethuel Anami
REPLACEMENTS: 16. Teddy Akala, 17. Edward Mwaura, 18. Joseph Odero, 19. Brian Juma, 20. Davis Chenge, 21. Brian Tanga, 22. Bryceson Adaka, 23. Andrew Matoka
EP Elephants: 15. Mbembe Payi, 14. Davian Swanepoel, 13. Athenkosi Mayinje, 12. Riaan Arends, 11. Rodney Damons, 10. Mattheus Garrick, 9. Rouche Nel, 1. Sibusiso Lali, 2. Duan Du Plessis, 3. Sive Mazosiwe, 4. Johannes Huisamen, 5. Jaco Wilemse, 6. Diego Williams, 7. Gerrit Huisamen, 8. Athenkosi Manentsa
REPLACEMENTS 16. Mzwanele Besman, 17. Roche van Zyl, 18. Viaan Wolmarans, 19. Lungi Mbiko, 20. Arnold Kleyn, 21. Sachin Toring, 22. Merlynn Pieterse, 23. Aya Oliphant