By Douglas Mazune
East Africa Super Cup
Heathens 15 (18) Nakuru 9 (32)
Buffaloes 20 Western Bulls 25
HEATHENS avenged defeat to Nakuru in the Super Cup at Kyadondo Rugby Club on Saturday but the slim victory was just for the pleasure of home fans.
Having suffered a 23-3 defeat in Kenya last weekend, Heathens’ hard fought 15-9 was not enough to bring home the inaugural Super Cup.
The Kenyans had the last laugh as they lifted the trophy on 32-18 aggregate in the competition that saw Uganda and Kenya league champions face off.
Heathens' Allan Otim is tackled by Nakuru's Martin Nwita. Right is Nakuru captain Michael Okombe
“We came here to win on their home ground but it was not possible. We are happy to be overall winners. Heathens put up a big fight which has been a good preseason test for us. This tournament should be improved upon to include other champions in East Africa,” Nakuru’s senior player Gabson Weru remarked.
Nakuru’s Martin Muita and his Heathens’ counterpart Benon Kizza missed penalties inside 10 minutes. Kizza then opened the scoring for Heathens with a drop goal which gave the hosts a 3-0 lead in the 16th minute. Muita then kicked in a penalty to level the score.
Heathens' Paul Sserunjoji is tackled by Nakuru's Phillip Owuor
Captain Michael Wokorach then side-stepped two opponents and swung the ball to a well- placed Kizza to touch down. Jonathan Onen kicked in the conversion to give Heathens a 10-3 lead.
On the stroke of halftime, Muita kicked in a penalty to cut the deficit to 10-6. Early in the second half Muita kicked in his third penalty to further slice the hosts’ lead to 10-9.
Heathens' locks Romano Ogwal (L) and Mathias Ochwo (R) tackle Nakuru prop Gileys Littlewood
Heathens then hang on the slim lead until a late try by Onen brought some relief as they extended their lead to 15-9.
“Overturning a 20-point deficit was achievable but difficult. I am glad we managed to win at home and learnt a lot from these two games as we prepare for the league in two weeks,” Heathens coach Brian Tabaruka commented.
The match was preceded with a friendly game between Buffaloes and Western Bulls from Kenya. Bulls beat Buffaloes by 25-20.