Cape Town - Tusker Simba made it a day to remember as they beat the Eastern Province Kings 17-10 in their debut Vodacom Cup match played at City Park, in Cape Town, on a blustery Saturday afternoon.
The supporters had barely sat down when the referee awarded an early penalty to the visiting Kings which they kicked to the corner.
Claude Tshidibi scored from the lineout maul and the Kings led 5-0 after only minutes had been played.
Center Scott van Breda was unsuccessful with his attempted conversion from the left hand touchline.
The howling wind made kicking and lineouts particularly difficult and Tusker stayed pinned in their own territory for long periods of time.
Winger Leonard Mugaisi scored a good try to level the scores when the Kenyans managed to penetrate Kings territory.
Flyhalf Kenny Andola missed the conversion and the two teams remained deadlocked until the half-time break.
The Kings spurned many chances to kick for goal and a poor display in the lineout saw them unable to convert their possession and territory into points.
This was further evident when the Kenyans were reduced to 14 men after eighthman Joshua Chisanga was sent to the bin for repeated infringements.
Despite having a numerical advantage, the team from Port Elizabeth could simply not finish-off any of their chances.
After the break, the Kenyans had a moment of magic as an attempted drop-kick by Andola was poorly dealt with by the Kings defence and the ball somehow came out on the side of Tusker Simba.
Mugaisi was on hand to dive over the line and score his second try of the afternoon. Andola found his target with the conversion and the lead was 12-5 to the Kenyans.
Minutes after, hooker Maxwell Kangu showed a burst of speed that belied his age of 30, to finish off a superb piece of attacking play.
The Kings threw everything at the Kenyans and, despite a few bright moments from replacements Brian Skosana and Selvyn Davids, they were unable to find the try-line.
Replacement prop Pieter Stemmet barged his way over to narrow the gap to 17-10, but Van Breda's conversion attempt hit the post.
The Kenyans held on in the final minutes to make sure they opened their account with a win.
Tries: Leonard Mugaisi (2) Maxwell Kangu
Conversion: Kenny Andola
Tries: Claude Tshidibi, Pieter Stemmet