Kakamega out to reclaim national glory

By Elizabeth Mburugu: Saturday, April 6th 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Sports
Kakamega High School's David Kamau (right) defend himself using hand-off against Martin Mugo (left) and Hiram Mwenda of Maethene School from Eastern region during National Term 1 Brookside games at Kangaru School. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Former national and East Africa rugby 15s champions Kakamega High School are eager to reclaim the national title.

The seven-time national winners will launch their bid when this year’s Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) national term one games begin on Tuesday at Shimo La Tewa School and Shanzu Teacher’s Training College in Mombasa. Kakamega will be out to reclaim the title they lost to Upper Hill last year.

They are also longing to reclaim the East Africa crown they last won in 2016 when Kenya hosted the regional games in Eldoret. Kakamega coach Amos Wamanga was confident saying his boys are eager to bounce back to top spots locally and regionally.

“The boys are ready to reclaim the titles and protect the schools’ legacy set by their predecessors. They have been working hard in training because they are determined to reclaim our lost glory,” Wamanga said.

Having finished third in 2018 behind Upper Hill and Menengai High School, Kakamega need to be at their best to win. “We have to be at our best because strong teams are emerging. Last year, we went to Embu as champions but lost our matches and that proves how difficult it is to maintain the top spot in these games. So we need to remain focused.”

Kakamega begin their title hunt in Group B against debutants Kabianga from Rift Valley before taking on arch rivals Kangaru School from Eastern in their second match. They complete the preliminaries with a clash against Coast’s Galana School. They are favourites to advance to the semi-finals in their pool.

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Maseno School who return after missing in action for the last two years lead Group A which also has Dagoretti High, Alliance from Central and Coast champions Kwale High. Hosts Kwale High welcome back Maseno to the national scene as Alliance usher in Dagoretti.

Maseno hope to make their return to the nationals and also secure a return to East Africa games where they had won gold in 2014 and silver in 2015 before failing to qualify for the regional games in 2016, 2017 and 2018.   

New champions will be crowned in the longer version of rugby after last year’s winners Upper Hill failed Dagoretti test and surrendered their Nairobi Region, national and East Africa titles. Finalists Menengai opted to compete in sevens -- part of term two games -- that were moved to term one this year.

Top three finishers in rugby 15s and 7s will make Kenya team.

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