Timothy Simwa @timsimwa
Menengai Secondary from Nakuru County will face unfamiliar opponents in the form of Kabsabet Boys in the finals of rugby 15s of the Rift Valley Region Kenya Secondary School Sports Association (KSSSA) Term One games.
With the regional event ending today at St Joseph’s Boys in Kitale, Trans-Nzoia County, Menengai, who are the current national rugby 7s champions, could dominate yet again in the longer version of the game if they beat Kapsabet, who qualified for the finals after beating Baringo High 24-3 in the second semi-final yesterday.
In what turned out to be a thriller, Menengai narrowly edged out East Africa rugby 15s champions Laiser Hill Academy 3-0 in a match that neither side was able to touch down for a try, save for the sole penalty that saw the Nakuru side sail through.
Laiser had finished as runners up nationally last year after losing to Kakamega High School but made amends at the East Africa edition in Gulu, northern Uganda by winning the title which they have now officially relinquished.
Under the tutelage of Evans Adenya, Menengai seem to be the team to beat in a sport that has been dominated by schools from Nairobi and Western regions for many years. “Our determination and team work is what has helped us get this far and just as it happened last year, our eyes are focused on winning the national title which will also be our first in 15s rugby,” said Adenya.
Kapsabet, just like their opponents have little to write home about in the rugby arena but will be trying to make their mark and perhaps book a berth at the national championships in Embu next month. In boys’ handball, Nandi County’s Saniak will take on Trans-Nzoia’s Rafiki Secondary in today’s finals while Karandich battle it out with St Francis Cheptarit in the girls’ category.
Meanwhile, some semi-final matches were stopped midway due to a heavy downpour with organisers hoping for favourable weather conditions today when most finals will start early.
As opposed to the initial programme that would have seen the regional championship end tomorrow, the school games are expected to end today with finals in boys’ 15s rugby as well as hockey, basketball and handball for both boys and girls, with winners advancing to the nationals.