Sevens star Oliech counting on luck at Las Vegas

Men's and women's teams at Sydney wore Keep Rugby Clean T-shirts on Saturday to highlight ...
Men's and women's teams at Sydney wore Keep Rugby Clean T-shirts on Saturday to highlight the ongoing fight against doping. (PHOTO/

The national rugby sevens team kicker Sammy Oliech believes each team in their pool stands an equal chance to emerge top and only luck will separate the sides as the HSBC World Rugby Series enters fifth round in Las Vegas on Saturday.

The Kenyans who have endured a stuttering start to their 2016/17 campaign are in Pool C alongside New Zealand, Russia and Argentina.

“It looks like a well matched field so we just hope it turns out to be our day. Our aim is to make it to the quarter finals,” Oliech told Citizen Digital.

Oliech has been a permanent fixture at the Shujaa team sheet, surviving each time as Head Coach Innocent ‘Namcos’ Simiyu continually tinkers with the squad in search of a winning combination.

Despite Shujaa’s slow start that has sent them down into 11th in the series standings on 27 points, Oliech has backed Simiyu to steady the Kenyan ship.

“We are working on small techniques we need to rectify, the small adjustments we need to make so hopefully going forward we will be converting a lot more of our tries,” he said.

Winners of the Singapore leg last year in April, Simiyu’s men have struggled to reestablish themselves as a global rugby force, collecting five points in Dubai, twelve in Cape Town, eight in Wellington and only two in Sydney.

“Coming in with a new coach at the start of the season couple of things has to change and at the moment we are still trying to get used to Namcos new style of doing things and I think with the next tours guys should start following what he wants us to do and how he wants us to play,” the Resolution Impala Saracens player underscored.

Teammate and vice-captain Collins Injera who will be playing in only his third leg in the 2016/2017 season after missing Dubai and Cape Town says his focus is in helping the team improve rather than his tries record.

Injera is first on the all-time tries leader board with 238 touch downs, five ahead of English star Dan Norton.

He will lead the Kenyan assault when they take on New Zealand at 4:15am local time (+3GMT) on Saturday before playing Argentina later at 6.52 am for their second match.

Their last pool match will be against Russia on Sunday at 1.12 am.

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Story By Kenerickson Njeru
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