Kenya Sevens has performed below par in the 2016/2017 sevens series but vice-captain Collins Injera says hope is not lost.
Speaking in Singapore during pre-tournament press conference, Injera described the feeling they had when they won Singapore 7s in 2016 by beating World champions Fiji.
“It was a very special win for us,” said Injera. “I’ve been playing in the series for a long time now and this is my ninth year. I’ve had a lot of great memories with Humphrey, so winning last year in Singapore was truly special for me personally. He has given a huge amount to the game and while he is not here this year, Kenyan rugby can be grateful for what he has achieved.
Beating Fiji in the final, a side who had just won in Hong Kong, was a stunning achievement. It was also the manner in which Kenya dismantled the Pacific islanders, playing at a pace even the quick-footed Fijians couldn’t keep up with. The final score, 30-7, was Fiji’s first Cup loss of the series and Injera’s two tries were integral.
To get into the final, Kenya had to play Argentina side in the Cup semi-final with time almost up on the clock the score stood at 12-12 and cometh the last minute chance to slot a drop goal, cometh the man.
“If I remember well I had missed the conversion earlier in the match which was relatively easy. I talked to captain Andrew (Amonde) and said let me have a shot. He looked at me and told me to go and have a shot at it. I just wanted to hit the ball as hard as I can and that’s what I did. I managed to get the technique right and the power.”
More importantly, has Injera been practising this year?
“I am a kicker but I think we have better kickers in the team. I haven’t been practising kicking this year due to a niggly knee injury, but if the time comes we will see.”
Outside of kicking duties, try scoring will be on Injera’s mind. In Hong Kong, England’s Dan Norton waltzed into the record books after scoring his 245th try against South Korea in the pool stages, usurping Injera as the leading try-scorer in series history. Does it bother him?
“I’m obviously looking to take back that record but I can’t let it affect the way I play,” he said. “I am always looking to score but the team is the most important thing. If the record comes, then that’s a bonus for me.”
Kenya will play Australia, Argentina and Samoa in Pool C on Saturday.
Interview by World Rugby