Special Correspondent @PeopleSports11
Kenya’s hopes of claiming the Brookside East Africa Secondary School rugby sevens title remained bright as national champions Laiser Hill registered two crucial victories in their first two matches played at Busoga University Grounds yesterday in Rwanda.
Laiser easily tamed their compatriots St Peter’s Mumias 10-5 in their opening match to kick-start their campaign on a positive note as they braced for their second encounter against homeboys JAM Muhaga.
Nicholas Katu was the main man in the all-Kenyan duel after touching home the opening tries before Collins Enonda made it 10-0 in the early minutes of the second half but failed to make conversions in both tries that would have made 14.
Determined to get back in the match, Alvin Opati delivered the crucial try for the saints but Laiser fiercely defend their lead till the final whistle to bag victory.
It would turn out to be a one-sided affair as the Kajiado County-based heavyweights whitewashed Muhaga 34-3 to cement their resolve to carry home the rugby sevens title especially after relinquishing the rugby 15s title they had won last year.
Victor Rogena rose to the occasion in the second match for Laiser who are seeking to lift their maiden sevens title with a brace of tries against a visibly feeble Muhaga to give his side the lead in the early minutes. Clinton Kioko, who was last year’s regional rugby 15s MVP got one try for Laiser alongside Brian Kitavi, Levis Olen and Charles Tendwa.
“We want to add the regional crown to our national title and the two wins should sound a warning to our opponents. We will not settle for anything less than the main title,” skipper Kioko said.
In other results, Chavakali dimmed St Peter’s hopes of lifting the title after handing them a 7-0 defeat in their second match in another showdown pitting two Kenyan schools. Chavakali will have Felix Okumu to thank having scored the sole important try of the match before Isaac Ouma made the conversion.
In rugby 15s, Menengai High were treated to the upset of the day after squandering an 11-0 at half-time against compatriots Upper Hill, who came from behind to win 15-11 at the end of the final whistle.
The victory puts Upper Hill in a better position to win the regional title, having overpowered Kakamega High School 13-12 in their first match of the championships.
Kevin Elinai’s, Samuel Otieno and Nobert Okinyi stellar performance ensured Upper stuns Menegai to their second victory in second half.