Central Nationwide League leaders, Kiambu RFC on Saturday opened a six-point gap at the apex of the 12-team league after a hard fought 10-7 win against Meru RFC at Meru National Polytechnic.
Embu RFC were awarded four points and 24-0 victory after bottom placed Karatina RFC failed to turn up for their match are second with 31 points, with a game at hand.
Karatina, Dedan Kimathi have struggled to honour their away fixtures this season, which has taken a toll on their ranking, with the teams now on -14 and two points respectively. Mt Kenya University who lost 16-5 to Chuka University are third with 27 points, while Jkuat (26 points) are fourth and Meru are fifth.
Kiambu struggled to beat a determined Meru RFC in a tough match which could have gone either way.
The defending champions had broken the deadlock in the 25th minute after Cyrus Mwangi scored a penalty to end the first half at 3-0.
However, a resurgent Meru side pushed forward dominating play in Kiambu’s red zone, and were rewarded when versatile winger Simon Ngugi outran the opposition’s backs and made a try and with Vincent Choya adding the extras for 3-7 lead.
Meru were soon reduced to 13 men after two players were sent to the bin and were duly punished by Kiambu’s William Mwangi who scored a late converted try handing the visitors 10-7 victory.
Kiambu RFC director of rugby Njuguna Githang’a admitted that they were lucky to walk away with the win, with some blunders that saw four of his players yellow carded.
“We came expecting it to be a hard fought match since we were in a hostile environment. My players took the bait at some time and we momentarily lost our head. But we have been preparing for this mentally and we dug deep,” he said.
Kiambu faces tough fixtures, hosting Chuka University next weekend before traveling to Embu in one of the key league deciders.
Meru RFC coach Patrick Mwika congratulated his charges but regretted not killing the game when they had the lead.
“We followed Kiambu structure instead of playing our own way, they then increased the tempo,” he said.
Central Nationwide League.
Embu 24 Karatina 0
Chuka 16 - MKU Thika 5
Meru 7 - Kiambu 10
Nanyuki 24 Kimathi 0
Zetech 14 - JKUAT 16
Murang'a 36 - Thika 5