Twenty five-time Enterprise Cup winners Nondescripts RFC on Saturday survived a scare to knock out Menengai Oilers 19-7 and reach the quarter-finals of this year’s edition at Jamhuri Showground in Nairobi.
The Nakuru-based Oilers were the first to get on the scoreboard through a try from Davis Nyaundi, which was converted by Wesonga Abutali.
But lapse in defence and inexperience proved costly for Oilers, who are making their debut in the Kenya Cup this season, as Nondescripts quickly overturned the deficit and never looked back.
A brace of tries from Steve Odhiambo and debutant Victor Mutugi put Nondescripts ahead. Ian Mabwa and Saidi Sumba made successful conversions for Nondies, who now join Kabras Sugar, KCB and Kenyatta University’s Blak Blad in the quarter-finals.
“We started the match well, but lost the plot midway through after defensive mistakes which were largely due to inexperience. I rested half of the playing unit as the players have been featuring in the Kenya Cup league week in week out to give the guys who featured in Eric Shirley Shield a chance. We lost composure at crucial times, but on the overall, it was good performance,” former Kenyan international Gibson Weru, who handles Oilers, told Nation Sport after Saturday’s pre-quarterfinal matches.
He said rested regular players with an eye on the upcoming Kenya Cup encounter against Kenya Harlequin. “We want to gain points in the upcoming match against Kenya Harlequin as we seek to move away from the relegation zone,” he added.
Elsewhere, Nakuru RFC sailed into the quarter finals of Enterprise Cup in style when they gored Western Bulls 71-7 in a lop-sided encounter at Nakuru Athletics Club on Saturday.
The Mitch Ocholla-coached side, popularly known as Wanyore, led 42-7 at the interval.
“It was a tough game. Nakuru is a battle hardened side. I had reserved key players as I am facing a tough Championship match against Kisii,” said Abraham Shikanda, Western Bulls head coach.
Ocholla said he was happy with the result saying it was a good training session ahead of their Kenya Cup match against Impala next weekend.
“This win puts the boys in a good mood ahead of our Kenya Cup match,” said Ocholla.
Kabras, KCB and Blak Blad were given byes against Kisumu, Mombasa and Kisii RFC. The match between Impala Saracens and Strathmore Leos was postponed to March 23 to allow players time to attend the burial of former Impala player Richard Sidindi.
In other matches held in Mwamba Cup on Saturday, Kabras Sugar and Strathmore Leos advanced to the semi-final stage with crucial wins of 15-11 over KCB and 23-17 against Kenya Harlequin, respectively.