Quins Trump Impala
The Kenya Harlequins made sure that the Ngong road bragging rights remained safely at the Quins club house, after seeing off the Impala Saracens 28-10 under a rainy Impala club.
The visitors who had previously lost 13-11 at the same venue during the pre-season, dominated proceedings for the full 80 minutes, the periods of rain and a lack of time on the ball playing against Impala’s free flowing style. The rain however started pounding at an uncharacteristic lackluster Sarries side way before the clouds opened up during play.
Quins were quick in asserting themselves on the game, the half back pairing of Eden Agero and Isaac Adimo were turning the Impala defence line inside out at will. The Latter’s kicking game was the toast to this Quins performance, backed by a very mobile and hard working set of forwards.
It took a little over 15 minutes for Quins to get points on the board through Kevin Keegan’s boot, the nimble footed flier kicking the first 3 of his 15 point tally that evening. Minutes later he sliced the posts from the far left corner, to convert a well worked Herman Humwa try to make it 10-0.
Impala were stunned, their error rate and decision making at crucial stages did them little favour as Quins kept pounding away at them. Keegan would stretch that lead to 13-0 off a penalty, with 25 or so minutes on the clock.
The Sarries have had a habit of starting games slowly, when I watched them play against Homeboyz in the previous weekend, they were trailing 14-0 in the opening exchanges before clawing their way to a 42-39 result.
A repeat of the same looked far fetched as Quins hogged the ball and defended solidly in the few occasions that they did not have the ball in hand. Humwa would grab a brace, just before the sides went for the breather. That score building up from Impala’s failure to clear a deep territory finder off Adimo’s boot. Keegan missed the conversion to take the score to 18-0 at half time.
It was like Impala had never left the shades for the first half, Quins had literally dominated every facet of play, their forwards were working some great meters. Herman Humwa, Jared Owinyo, Edward Shitanda, David Ahawo and Brian Okwomi working overtime with Eden Agero and Isaac Adimo pulling the strings beautifully.
Impala had to score first in the second half if they were to hang on to their quickly fading hopes of a comeback. That seemed to have been the message at the breather, as Impala finally got on the scoreboard off a Quinto Ongo penalty after a sustained period of pressure from the hosts in the opening exchanges.
The Sarries were finally putting together meaningful phases as they chased that 15 points deficit, a yellow card to Quins’ hooker Frank Kalwale gifted Impala with the perfect chance to get back into the game an opportunity they grabbed fully.
A series of scrums off penalties at the Quins five yard, resulted in a Duncan Ekasi converted try to take the scores to 18-10, the Quin would however weather the rest of the 10 minutes as the rain started pounding at the Impala club, for the third time in less than an hour.
Keegan was again on hand to stretch his side’s lead from a penalty to take it to 21-10, with the clock now slowly turning against the hosts. Quins were not relenting, giving very little in opportunities to their opponents. In the closing minutes, it was captain Patrice Agunda who fittingly landed the final blow to settle what was a one sided contest, with a converted try to call the game at 28-10.
It was a bad day in the office for Impala, whose 7 match unbeaten run stretching into the pre-season ground to a halt. Apart from those 10 or so minutes early in the second half, they were chasing shadows for the rest of the eighty minutes. Quins were tactically and technically sure, strong and superior.
Isaac Adimo overshadowed Nato Simiyu at 10, his distribution and kicking game was amazing to watch, he was a constant menace for the Impala back three. He was my man of the match by a country mile, alongside Eden Agero they controlled the tempo of the game with great command and to the joy of their forwards.
Herman Humwa, Brian Okwomi, David Ahawo, Jared Owinyo and Edward Shitanda were impressive in the forwards, alongside Dennis Muriithi Paul Kioko and Frank Kalwalwe, they dominated the scrum and were generally on top of their set piece and break down game. The center pairing of Patrice Agunda and David Ambunya was a handful for the make shift pairing of Kevin Ochami and Anthony Nyandigisi on the opposite side.
Dennis Muhanji, Pius Shihundu and Kevin Keegan were solid at the back and rarely put a foot wrong when they were called upon. It will be an afternoon that Impala will be quickly looking to forget as they face Nondies and Blak Blad before the close of the year. Quins who now sit at the summit of the league standings, will look to ride this momentum into the encounters against Blad and Strathmore.
Other results saw KCB and Kabras share the spoils in a 15 all draw with the Strathmore Leos, Mwamba, Homeboyz and Nakuru claiming big wins on match day 5.
Western Bulls 10-41 Nakuru.
Mwamba 51-8 Mean Machine.
Impala Saracens 10-28 Kenya Harlequin.
Blak Blad 11-43 Homeboyz.
Strathmore 43-10 Nondies.
Kabras 15-15 KCB.