RKenya seek to top pool at Wellington World Rugby Series leg

New Zealand has been a good hunting ground for the Kenyans.

Friday January 29 2016

Kenya's Collins Injera (left) dashes for a try against the US at the Tokyo Rugby Sevens in Tokyo on April 4, 2015. Kenya won 27-5. Kenya seek to top their  pool at the Wellington Sevens of the World Rugby Series. PHOTO | AFP

Kenya's Collins Injera (left) dashes for a try against the US at the Tokyo Rugby Sevens in Tokyo on April 4, 2015. Kenya won 27-5. Kenya seek to top their pool at the Wellington Sevens of the World Rugby Series. PHOTO | AFP 

By AYUMBA AYODI
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Kenya will be going for nothing short of topping their pool at the Wellington Sevens of the World Rugby Series.

Kenya were set to open their pool assignment against Canada at 2.58am on Saturday in Pool “D” clash.

Next on their schedule was Portugal at 6am before wrapping up day one action in the third leg of the Series against Australia at 9.38am.

Revenge will be on the Benjamin Ayimba charges’ minds as they seek victory against the Canadians who beat them 21-5 in Plate semi-finals at last year’s Wellington leg of the IRB Sevens series.

Even though the Wellington Sevens has been one of Kenya’s best hunting grounds, they will have to tread cautiously, considering that it is the Canadians, who caused ripples in the previous outing in Cape Town where they stunned New Zealand in the pool stages.

Kenya’s best ever show in Wellington was during the 2012-2013 season under head coach Mike Friday. They shocked the home team 19-14 in the Cup semis before conceding a last minute try to lose to England 24-19 in a thrilling final.

Kenya played Canada six times last season winning once and losing five times.

The Ayimba-coached side will also be yearning for Australia’s scalp after the Wallabies beat them 14-12 in the pool stage in Dubai in December.

SHIELD SEMIS

In Cape Town, Australia lost to Fiji 19-38 in Plate semis, Canada bowed out 14-21 to England in Bowl semis while Portugal lost 5-38 to Russia in Shield semis.

Speedster Collins Injera will be in focus as he continues to chase another milestone. Injera lies third in the Serie’s all-time top try scorer chart, having crossed the line 209 times. He is 11 tries behind Ben Collinge and 21 behind Gomez Cora.

“In theory people will say it looks easy, 21 tries for Collins should be manageable but, I realised when you focus on the target it gets harder. You struggle with scoring, so for me, I just need to keep playing the game and not chasing the record. I just want to play my role in the team having moved into more of a playmaking role,” said Injera.

NARROW ZONE

Kenya Sevens coach cautioned that even though things looked favourable they would need to operate in narrow zone where every team would like to get out of the danger zone. “Our target is to top the pool,” said Ayimba.

Skipper Andrew Amonde noted that finishing fourth in the previous leg of Cape Town had set a high bench mark.

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