Kenya’s Sevens rugby team is “pumped up” about their chances at defending its Singapore title this weekend against the likes of Olympic champions Fiji and series leaders South Africa, one of its top players said Tuesday.
In spite of a rough season this year, star player Collins Injera, who until last weekend held the record for most number of tries scored in the Sevens circuit, said the familiar stomping ground of the Singapore Sports Hub has helped 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.”
Injera, who is the second all-time try scorer in Sevens history with 244 touchdowns, was surpassed by England’s Dan Norton just last weekend at the Hong Kong Sevens.
He is now two tries behind Norton.
But Injera insisted that chasing the record 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 are currently eleventh in the overall standings and are pooled with Argentina, Australia and Samoa for this weekend’s tournament.