• Ahaya said: “It was a very tough match for both teams. The rains made it worse but I’m happy we won. It was not the first time for us to beat Machine."
• Leos coach Loius Kisia said experience played a key role in their return to Kenya Cup.
Masinde Murilo University of Science and Technology (MMUST) and Strathmore Leos have turned their focus to the Kenya Cup after sealing places in the top tier league.
MMUST beat former three-time Kenya Cup winners Mean Machine 21-12 in Kakamega while Leos saw off Northern Suburbs Cubs 23-6 at Strathmore University grounds in Madaraka on Sunday.
MMUST head coach Ochieng Ahaya praised his charges for prevailing difficult circumstances to seal a Kenya Cup berth for the first time.
“The celebrations are now over. We have to sit down and focus on the Kenya Cup which is a new level for the boys. I want them to give a good account of themselves in the Kenya Cup. We are not going to be pushovers,” said Akaya.
He admitted that the KRU Championship was tough and expensive for his side.
On the game against Machine, Ahaya said: “It was a very tough match for both teams. The rains made it worse but I’m happy we won. It was not the first time for us to beat Machine."
Leos coach Loius Kisia said experience played a key role in their return to Kenya Cup.
“We retained most of the players who played for us in Kenya Cup which helped us win all our matches in the KRU Championship campaign. After putting our house in order, we had a gentleman’s agreement that we must go back to Kenya Cup,” said the tactician.
He said he is looking forward to the upcoming season which starts on February 27.
“Even though the players are not fully fit due to the long break, we are excited to be back to Kenya Cup and my target is a top-five finish. Since there will be no relegation, I want the boys to enjoy the game, finishing top five will be an achievement,” added the former Mwamba player.
He revealed that he has already signed utility Branson Madihu from Homeboyz and hooker John Aswan, who made his debut against Northern Suburbs Cubs.
“I’m glad that I will have most players who missed our KRU Championship matches due to exams and other commitments,” said Kisia.
On the match against Suburbs, Kisia said he was only concerned about the outcome and not the performance.
“In the knock out games, the outcome is more important than performance. At halftime, we were deadlocked at 3-3. I told my boys to stick to our game plan which worked for us,” said Kisia.
In the game at Madaraka, Leos went ahead through Arnold Muita's penalty but Tony Fidels replied for Suburbs with the teams going to the breather deadlocked at 3-3.
Muita and Philemon Olang crossed the whitewash twice for Leos with Muita scoring two conversions and Andrew Matoka added two penalties before Fidels added Surbubs' second penalty.
In Kakamega, Festus Shiashi scored a penalty and a drop goal to give visiting Machine a 6-0 lead over MMUST. However, Tryson Juma scored a try and converted for MMUST to give the hosts the lead.
Shiasi again scored a drop goal to give the three-time Kenya Cup champions a 9-7 lead at the breather.
After the interval, Shiashi was at it again as he drilled home a penalty but Vanance Shikuba scored a try which was converted by Timothy Mmasi for MMUST.
Mmasi then scored and converted his try at the death to give MMUST a deserved 21-12 win.