National 15 School champions Upper Hill School kicked off their quest for the East Africa schools title with a narrow 13-12 win over multiple regional winners Kakamega High in their opening game in Musanze, Rwanda on Monday 13 August.
Upper Hill came from behind for the win having trailed 6-3 at half time.
All points for the Barbarians, as Kakamega High are fondly known, came off the boots of Timothy Omela who scored four penalties.
Upper Hill scored a try through Brian Kimani with Abdutwalib Wesonga adding a conversion and two penalties.
Speaking to Raga House Upper Hill coach Tom Walgwe said; "We always knew playing in East Africa games would be tough, it’s good to get the first game behind us, Kakamega played well, my boys stayed patient and showed composure against a good side."
Peter Okova, a games teacher at Kakamega High added; "It was a tough match but we gave it our best the young lads rose to the occasion with the instructions of the coach Amos Wamanga.This was in honour of the late Douglas Owolla. Even Upper Hill know they were lucky but we accept and we will live to fight another day."
Kakamega High will hope to bounce back when they date Uganda's Kings College on Tuesday at 11am.
With a winning start, Uppers Hill can now focus on their next assignment on Tuesday against Menengai High - the team they beat 15-12 in sudden death to the National title in April - starting 1pm.
Menengai High started the tournament on the right note with a 17-6 win over Uganda's St.Mary's Kisubi in the final 15s game of the day.
The 15s game is being contested by six schools with the games played in a round robin format.
Results - Monday 13th August
Upper Hill 13 Kakamega High 12
11am Namilyango vs King's College
Menengai High 17 St.Mary's Kisubi 6
Fixtures - Tuesday 14th August
9 St.Mary's Kisubi vs Namilyango
11am King's College vs Kakamega High
1pm Upper Hill vs Menengai