Upper Hill target double as Laiser seek regional title defence

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019 00:00 |
Upper Hill’s Jayson Andongo in full flight against Lenana School during the Nairobi region school games last year. Photo/PHILIP KAMAKYA

Kenya Secondary School Sports Association (KSSSA) Rugby sevens champions Upper Hill are looking to clinch a double when they take on six other teams in a round robin format at the East Africa games that start on Friday in Arusha, Tanzania.

Thomas Walgwe’s side dethroned East Africa defending champions Laiser Hill at the national games held in Mombasa in April after a 10-5 score to clinch their maiden title in the shorter version of the sport.

En route to the national final, Upper Hill had defeated Dagoretti in the Nairobi region games to book a slot in the Mombasa meet where they sealed the slot to the Federation of East African Secondary Schools Sports Associations (FEASSSA) games undefeated.

“We have had time to polish our skills and thankfully, all the players are fit. Every year, teams are doing more to match Kenya’s level in rugby and that means we have to watch our backs. In addition to the other opponents, our local rivals will be out to revenge their losses in the national games,” said Walgwe.

Laiser hopeful

In 2018, Upper Hill raced to their maiden national and East Africa titles in rugby 15s. They were, however, dethroned at the Nairobi region games this year by Dagoretti thus training their guns on the sevens qualifiers which they settled for without much struggle.

Meanwhile, East Africa defending champions Laiser, who had their plans for a second double thwarted by the resilient Upper Hill, will be out to defend their regional title when they take to the pitch in Arusha.

Also gunning for the regional sevens glory are St Peter’s Mumias in what will be a Kenya versus Uganda affair with Tanzania’s Okweeswa also in the mix.

In rugby 15s, Amos Wamanga’s Kakamega School, who claimed the national title they had last won in 2017, will be out for a double too.

They have local rivals Dagoretti and Kangaru to deal with as well as Uganda’s Namilyango College, St Mary’s Kisubi and Ntare School. Tanzania’s Okeeswa makes it a seven-team event.

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