• Kakamega face uphill task in schools rugby opener

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Apr 13, 2011-

Defending seven-a-side rugby champions Kakamega High School take on former national champions St. Mary’s School, Nairobi in the opening match which is worth a final.

 

There are sixteen teams which have been drawn into four pools. St. Peters, Mumias where Humphrey Kayange, the national sevens-a-side captain honed his skills makes a return after a five-year absence. Kakamega High School, the 2009 secondary schools national fifteens champions have been formidable in the last decade. Nicknamed Barbarians, Kakamega have lifted both the fifteens and the sevens national titles four times since 2000.

 

According to coach Ochieng Ahaya discipline, rational selection of players on grounds of ability and a sense of commitment have played a key role in this breathtaking record. “We have continued to set pace for others over the years because we have managed to build a sense of winning amongst ourselves. Our selection and training has been free and fair, and if you ask me, this speaks it all regarding our victories” says Ahaya confidently.

 

While representing Kenya and Africa during the 2008 annual Dubai rugby series, the side finished second behind winners Wales.  And with his side tackling the Nairobi side in the opener, Ahaya promises fireworks.

The reigning champions will first need to get through the “saints”, who are chasing that elusive title. The dark horses this weekend will come from group “C” of four with St. Peters, whose confidence will be high after winning the East Africa invitational sevens rugby held last year in Uganda as well lifting this year’s Makampo Sevens and  Khaemba Cup, a good bet in this gambling haven. However, Maseno and Kangaru School should progress to the quarters on Day One from Pool “B” and will be odds-on to continue their rivalry.

 

Isaac Mutua

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