Upper Hill are the new National School Games rugby sevens champions after surviving a pulsating ‘Battle of the Hills’ to defeat holders Laiser Hill 10-5 on Friday at the Shimo La Tewa Grounds in Mombasa.
The 2018 East Africa rugby 15s champions thus exacted revenge on their rivals from the Rift Valley three years after losing the 2016 final at Kangaru in Embu County.
Upper Hill’s triumph marks another significant landmark for the Nairobi-based side that clinched its first ever national rugby 15s title last year when they defeated Menengai in the final.
Speaking to Citizen Digital after being crowned the new champions, Upper Hill head coach Thomas Wagwe, praised his charges for the feat while adding that they can dare to dream for East Africa title after the national success.
“After we were dethroned by Dagoretti in 15s in regionals I swiftly focused on the Sevens and I prepared my team well because I noticed my boys can do great in Sevens. It has been a great journey I am very happy to win the first sevens title. We had a dream for this title and now the dream switches to Tanzania,” he charged.
Wagwe’s opposite number Kevin Atandi conceded defeated while also shifting focus to defending the East Africa title.
“We have lost and I congratulate my opponents who had a good game and had prepared well. We have another chance in Tanzania and we are going back to the drawing board because we cannot afford to relinquish the two titles,” he told.
Kenya being the defending champions in both rugby Sevens and 15s, three teams will represent the country in the East Africa games set for Arusha, Tanzania in August.
New champions Upper Hill will represent the country in Tanzania alongside Laiser Hill and St Peters Mumias who defeated Vihiga 19-5 in third place play-offs.
In Rugby 15s contest, powerhouse Kakamega will face Dagoretti in the finals on Saturday morning after the two sides eased to the finals after winning their respective semi-final matches.
Kakamega, seven-time national champions defeated Alliance 22-3 to set up a ground-breaking final with Dagoretti who saw off Kangaru by 33-0 in the last four ties.
In the third place play-off Kangaru and Alliance will fight for the East Africa third slot.
In girls’ Basketball contest, defending champions Kaya Tiwi will for the second year running meet Buruburu in the finals.
Philip Onyango led Kaya Tiwi thrashed St.Brigids 69-38 to reach finals while Buruburu defeated Tigoi 59-47 in a hotly contested semi-final.
In boys’ category, East Africa’s most successful basketball team Laiser Hill will face Dagoretti in the finals. Seven-time East Africa champions Laiser, defeated Nyanza’s Agoro Sare 83-52 to sail through while Dagoretti walloped Alliance 67-44.
DAY 4 SELECTED RESULTS
Rugby 15’s Semis
Dagoretti 33 vs 00 Kangaru
Kakamega 22 vs 03 Alliance
Kangaru vs Alliance
Dagoretti vs Kakamega
Tigoi 47 vs 59 Buru Buru
St. Brigid’s 38- 69 Kaya Tiwi
Tigoi vs St. Brigid’s
Buru Buru vs Kaya Tiwi
Laiser Hill 83 vs 52 Agoro Sare
Dagoretti 67 vs 44 Alliance
Agoro Sare vs Alliance
Laiser Hill vs Dagoretti
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