Kangaru School set sights on East Africa games return

By Elizabeth Mburugu: Thursday, April 4th 2019 at 00:30 GMT +3 | Rugby
Hannington Mmbaka of Kangaru High School (left) in past action in national games in Nyeri. [Kibata, Kihu, Standard]

After reclaiming their regional rugby 15s title, Eastern Region big shots Kangaru School are now on a mission to secure their return to the East Africa Secondary School games set for August in Arusha, Tanzania.

They have their work cut out as they seek to excel at next week’s Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) Brookside National Term One games set for Shimo La Tewa School and Shanzu Teachers Training College in Mombasa. Kangaru achieved their first goal of the year after reclaiming their Eastern Region title they had lost to Miathene last year.

Kangaru coach Benson Mwenda said that their aim is to qualify for East Africa games. “We want a top three finish so we can play at this year’s edition of the East Africa games. That does not mean that we don’t want the national trophy we are going for it two,” Mwenda said

He added that he believes his charges are equal to the task. “We have been working on the areas of weakness from last year’s championships and I believe that we are stronger now. I also have experienced players because the majority of last year’s squad are still in the team and only three finished school.”

Mwenda noted that his charges have improved in all aspects of the games and they are now better in the mauling, lineouts, and open play which were not spot on last year.

Kangaru are in Group B alongside former national and East Africa champions Kakamega High, Coast Region’s Galana and novices Kabianga from Rift Valley.

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Nairobi Region champions Dagoretti High who eliminated 2018 national and East Africa winners Upper Hill are in Group A together with national regulars Alliance from Central, Nyanza’s Maseno School and Coast champions Kwale High.

An optimistic Mwenda said that with both rugby 15s and 7s happening at the same time it is an advantage for upcoming schools who would have otherwise not made it to the national games.

“I think it is a blessing in disguise for many upcoming teams because many chose to specialize in one version of the game. With rugby powerhouses like Menengai, St Peter’s Mumias and Laiser Hill in 7s upcoming teams like Kabianga qualified for the national games.”