Laiser Hill are the new Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) rugby Sevens champions, reclaiming the title they last won in 2016 at the same stage in Embu.
The Kevin Wambua coached side were up against hard fighting Chavakali but they took control of the game from the onset, making their first try in the first minute and dominating both halves to win 26-5.
Four tries, two for Clinton Kioko and a piece each for Daniel Kisakyamukama and Brunson Madigu, with three conversions by Fredrick Odongo propelled Laiser to the win. Isaac Ouma made Chavakali’s unconverted try.
“We had a tough pool and once we made it out of the pool, we knew we could go all the way to win or at least make it to the top three. Playing in a tough pool gave us an edge over the other teams as they were not in tough pools.
We had the upper hand in the finals against Chavakali as they were drained while we had more time to rest,” said coach Wambua after the win.
Enroute the finals, Laiser Hill were grouped in the ‘pool of death’ that had East Africa defending champions Muhuri Muchiri, 2014 national champions Maseno and Kipsombe.
The side met St Peter’s Mumias in the semis beating them 26-0 while Chavakali had a more dramatic semi-final against debutants Dagoretti.
The two sides tied 7-7 in regular play as well as extra time and had to go for three sets of drop kicks, all ending in a draw.
The match was then decided on a coin toss, favouring last year’s finalists Chavakali. “I was gutted when we didn’t qualify for the 15s version in April but we kept our heads high and continued training and working hard for this and I am glad we have lifted the title. Winning by more than 20 points in a finals against worthy opponents goes to show how hard we have worked to get here,” added Wambua who has only two players left from the 2016 title winning squad. The coach’s plans going to the East Africa Games are to work on the team’s tackles and management of the game as well as recovering especially for players who sustained injuries in this championship with the goal set on being fully prepared for the Rwanda competitions and going all out for the title.
St Peter’s are the third team that will travel to Rwanda after beating Dagoretti in the third place playoff 24-7.