Rugby, athletics action takes centre stage

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By PHILIP ONYANGO
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Rugby sevens and athletics take centre stage on day three of the National Secondary Schools Term Two A Games at Shimo la Tewa School and Shanzu Teachers Training College, Mombasa.

A new champion will emerge in rugby after last year’s winners Laiser Hill Academy of Rift Valley failed to qualify for the nationals.

East African winners St Peter’s Mumias and losing finalists Upper Hill are also missing in this year’s edition.

Chavakali, Simotwo, Kangaru and Galana are the only returnees from last year’s competition making this year’s edition one of the most open. Of the 16 teams, only Maseno from Nyanza Region have won the title before.

Muhuri Muchiri from Nairobi Region launch their hunt for a maiden title against Alliance Boys of Central in the opening match before taking on Coast’s Mghalu later in the day in Group A.

Katuanya will take on Mghalu in their opener before playing Alliance. This will be Muhuri Muchiri’s second appearance at the nationals having featured in 2015 where they finished third.

“We have good players and they are hungry for the title. We are wary of all teams but we believe this is our time,” said Muhuri Muchiri coach Kikechi Kombo.

Five-time winners Maseno School renew their rivalry with St Joseph’s Rapogi in a repeat of Nyanza Region final in Group D. Bungoma of Western will tackle homeboys Galana.

Kangaru, who won silver at the nationals and East Africa Games in 2015, will be hoping to bounce back from last year’s setbacks that saw them finish eighth overall. They play hosts Shimo La Tewa in their first Group B match.

Rift Valley are favourites to retain their athletics title at Mbaraki Stadium. National boys’ cross country champion Rhonex Kipruto and Ivine Chepkemoi of Kimwogo High School will lead Rift Valley’s onslaught as they chase the boys’ 10,000 and girls’ 1,500 titles respectively.

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