‘Pumped up’ Kenya7s look to defend Singapore title

Dennis Ombachi of Kenya (front) blocks Alexandre Lagarde of France during their match on the ...
Dennis Ombachi of Kenya (front) blocks Alexandre Lagarde of France during their match on the second day of the Rugby Sevens tournament in Hong Kong on April 8, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Anthony WALLACE

The national rugby sevens team Shujaa has been far from impressive in their opening seven rounds of the HSBC World Rugby Series but vice-captain Collins Injera is confident they will recover from that slump ahead of their Singapore title defense bid this weekend.

Injera who was knocked off by England star Dan Norton as the leading all-time try scorer during the previous round in Hong Kong said the Shujaa are “pumped up” about their chances against the likes of Olympic champions Fiji and series leaders South Africa.

Injera who is now two tries behind Norton maintained the familiar stomping ground of the Singapore Sports Hub has helped boost the team’s morale.

“We’ve had an up-down season, not really been hitting our targets,” Injera said in a media conference Tuesday.

“Coming into this one, we are pumped up by history. We just have to take one game at a time and starting with the first game against Argentina which will be crucial for us.”

Kenya pulled off a stunning 30-7 upset over Fiji in last year’s final. The victory was Kenya’s first tournament win in a world series event despite making the final in two previous editions – Australia in 2009 and New Zealand in 2013.

“Winning a leg, it just makes you a target for other teams. Every other team will want to put up a good show against you. And I think for us, it has been tough this season,” Injera said.

And memories of their previous victory are still fresh, said Injera, who scored twice in that final.

“Having that breakthrough… was an amazing thing and it just was a happy moment for us,” he said. “We want to ride on that.”

His 244 touchdowns put him second all-time try scorer in Sevens history but Injera insisted chasing back is record and after Norton is not on his mind.

“At the moment, that’s not really my focus,” Injera said. “But if I get to score then well and good, we’ll see how far we can take it.”

Kenya is currently eleventh in the overall standings and are pooled with Argentina, Australia and Samoa for this weekend’s tournament.

-Additional material sourced from AFP.


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Story By Matthews Mutai
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