Champions Ofafa Jericho came from behind to beat hosts Strathmore School 15-10 in the rugby 15s Nairobi County secondary schools championships.
The win saw the Eastlands based school finish top of Pool ‘A’ with nine points after chalking up three successive wins.
Strathmore finished second in the pool with six points. Both teams qualified for next month’s quarter-finals.
Ofafa coach James Kaili was pleased with the team’s performance in the second half after a poor start.
“We started slowly and our opponents took advantage. However, in the second half the boys dominated as they returned stronger,” an elated Kaili told Sunday Nation Sports.
Since both teams were victorious in their opening two matches, the match was billed as a clash of titans.
It certainly lived up to expectations as the teams’ best players squared off.
Hooker Erastus Karani gave the hosts a 3-0 lead at the drinks with a drop penalty while Ofafa were unable to break the Strathmore defence.
The champions’ resurgence began early in the second half when Brian Otieno weaved past the Strathmore to touch down a try.
The conversion was however unsuccessful but Ofafa pressed forward looking to increase their lead.
Fly-half Alvin Thomas offloaded to Otieno who exchanged passes with skipper Philemon Odhiambo before releasing Thomas who outmuscled three Strathmore players to score for a 10-3 lead.
The conversion was again unsuccessful and Strathmore hit back with Edward Tambo powering in his team’s first try of the match before Karani converted to level the scores with eight minutes left.
With time running out, both teams went in search of the winning try but their defences firmly repelled attacks.
However, Ofafa were not to be denied and they had the last laugh when centre-half Roy Moturi outsprinted his marker to score his team’s third try to settle the nervy encounter.
Ofafa held on in the final minutes as the hosts desperately tried to find a way back into the match.
“It was a nerve-racking encounter between two great sides. I commend Ofafa for a good game.
We started well but made a few mistakes, which our opponents used to punish us,” said Strathmore coach David Dimba.
The other pool match between Moi Forces Academy and Jamhuri was postponed to Tuesday next week.
The quarter-finals will be played next month.