Strathmore Leos and Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) have been promoted to the 2021 Kenya Cup season after winning their respective KRU Championship semi-finals yesterday.
Strathmore beat Northern Suburbs 23-6 in Madaraka as MMUST, who are set for their maiden appearance in the top tier, saw off University of Nairobi’s Mean Machine 21-12 in Kakamega.
The two sides are set to replace Western Bulls and Kisumu RFC, who were axed from the Kenya Cup during the 2019-20 season after finishing in the bottom two positions with 11 and two points respectively.
The 2021 Kenya Cup season is scheduled to start on February 27 and conclude with the final on May 29.
The campaign will be preceded by a curtain raiser pitting current Kenya Cup winners KCB against Enterprise Cup holders Kabras Sugar next weekend.
In what was the teams’ first competitive fixture since rugby was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic in March last year, Northern Suburbs drew first blood courtesy of a penalty by Fidens Tony.
Suburbs indiscipline proved costly as they were temporarily reduced to 14 men after Lance Alu was sent to the sin bin for dangerous play.
Strathmore, who had beaten Suburbs home and away during the regular season, struggled to make inroads into their opponents’ territory but they managed to draw level before the halftime interval as Arnold Muita responded with a penalty.
Muita delivered the game’s opening try at the start of the second half before adding the conversion as the students took control of the match.
Muita continued to impress with his boot, converting Philemon Olang’s try before the teams traded penalties.
In Kakamega, the hosts started slowly with Machine settling quickly with their first surge forward earning them a penalty which Festus Shiasi converted to earn his side a 3-0 lead.
Machine were at it again forcing the hosts on backfoot and their efforts paid off with Shiasi’s dropgoal doubling the lead for a 6-0 lead.
MMUST however hit back to take a lead minutes later.