Despite massively falling to Nakuru RFC during the Kenya Cup final at the weekend, Stathmore Leos head Coach Mitch Ocholla says his side will live to fight another day.
Ochalla attributed their 3-34 battering by title-thirsty Nakuru RFC to inexperience.
“My boys put up a lacklustre performance due to lack of experience, mental imbalance and stage fright,” Ocholla said.
“We had the plan but inexperience is what cost us rather than the technical bit of the game,” he added.
Those who followed Strathmore’s run throughout the season expected them to give ‘Wanyore’ a run for their money in the final.
The Leos had beaten pre-match favourites Mwamba 18-15 in the semi-finals.
This was the second time Strathmore were humbling Mwamba after a 25-0 drubbing in the regular season. Bigwigs, Kenya Harlequin, Impala, Nondescript and Mean Machine all suffered the wrath of the Leos.
But come the final and Leos looked meek and were completely subdued by Nakuru RFC, losing 3-37 in the final played at Kasarani on Saturday. Strathmore were swift off the blocks to take an early lead from fly half Marvin Sumba’s penalty. But that would be their only score in the match.
The Leos however left the pitch with their heads held high. Ocholla said this was no mean feat for Leos who were founded only seven years ago.
Ocholla said the result was an indication that Loes were gradually developing. “This has been manifested by the steady rise from finishing eighth in 2008, sixth both in 2009 and 2010 and fourth in 2011.
“The gradual graph is a sign of improvement and it was important for us to play in the final,” Ocholla said.
“It was our first final at that level and this gives me sweet memories when I look back in 2008 when we lost to Mwamba 47-0 in Driftwood Sevens final.”
“My team, with an average age of 20 years has depth and I assure you we are determined to go a notch higher next season”
Some of the experienced players, and who the team had to shoulder the burden of carrying during the final, according to Ocholla, included Ken Andola, John Okwara and Andrew Liundi.
Meanwhile, Ocholla said support from Strathmore University through the youth in sports programmes including scholarships for sporting talent has gone a long way in shaping his team.
“The player recruitment, scholarships offer and full insurance cover for the players have been the riding factor behind the team,” said Ocholla. “Conditioning, gym sessions and favourable pitch also helped the team grow.”
Source: Daily Nation