Rugby: Cheetahs crowned Super Series champions. KRU

Samson Onsomu controlled the Cheetahs forwards, who were soon back at full strength, while Beldad Ogeta was a handful for the Lions in the final of the tournament in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Menengai Cream Cheetahs claimed their third Rugby Super Series (RSS) title with an 18-10 victory over the KCB Bank Lions in a tense final at the RFUEA grounds in Nairobi on Saturday, 25 May 2024. Kabras Sugar Buffaloes finished third on the log while Faiba Mobile Rhinos finished bottom.

The Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) has facilitated the long-awaited return of the RSS after a decade-long hiatus, marking an exciting chapter in Kenyan rugby history. Aggrey Chabeda, Chairman of the Rugby Super Series Organising Committee, expressed his excitement ahead of the tournament: "As Chairman of the Organising Committee, I am thrilled to be part of this momentous occasion and to share our vision for the future of the tournament. 

Two penalties from tournament top scorer Quinto Ongo, sandwiched between Levi Amunga's penalty for the Lions, gave the Cheetahs a 6-3 lead after a first half in which their hooker Emmanuel Mboya was sin-binned early on for an incident that saw his side reduced to 14 men, with Kevin Kiget temporarily replacing Elkeans Musonye in the front row, according to KRU.

His absence made little difference as Samson Onsomu controlled the Cheetahs forwards, who were soon back at full strength, while Beldad Ogeta was a handful for the Lions. The Cheetahs also gave as good as they got in a half that saw few chances for the Lions, who had yet to find their stride. 

The Lions started the second half on a high, Givens Oduor scoring the first try of the game, reacting quickest to Emmanuel Opondo's tap penalty, collecting the ball on the break and going over the whitewash with Amunga converting for a 10-6 lead. 

It was the Cheetahs who responded, seeing more of the ball and territory and keeping the Lions on the back foot. Dennis Abukuse's big run was stopped at the five-metre line, but Felix Odhiambo was lurking in support and took Onsomu's pass to score in the corner and give the Cheetahs an 11-10 lead. 

Lawi Buyachi's Cheetahs were clearly the sharper side going into the final quarter as Oliver Mang'eni's Lions were guilty of indecision and indiscipline, highlighted by Griffin Musila's yellow card which cost them the lead. Ibrahim Ayoo scored a second try for the Cheetahs late in the game and Abukuse converted as the Cheetahs held on for victory to add to their 2004 and 2006 titles. 

Ongo was the top scorer with 22 points, while three players - Griffin Chao (Kabras Sugar Buffaloes), Victor Odhiambo (Faiba Mobile Rhinos) and Givens Oduor (KCB Bank Lions) - shared the top try-scoring spot with two apiece.

Rugby Super Series winners 

2003: Rhinos. 

2004: Cheetahs. 

2005: Buffaloes. 

2006: Cheetahs. 

2007: Rhinos. 

2008: Lions. 

2009: Rhinos. 

2010: Rhinos. 

2011: Rhinos. 

2012: Rhinos. 

2013: Ndovu. 

2014: Kifaru. 

2015-2023: Not Played. 

2024: Cheetahs.