Kenya 7s jet back after brilliant Vancouver outing

Wednesday March 14 2018

Kenya’s top try scorer in the IRB World Sevens Series Collins Injera is welcomed home by members of the Utamaduni Ngoma dancers at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport when the team arrived from their tour of USA and Canada on March 13, 2018. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Kenya’s top try scorer in the IRB World Sevens Series Collins Injera is welcomed home by members of the Utamaduni Ngoma dancers at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport when the team arrived from their tour of USA and Canada on March 13, 2018. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By WAROTHE KIRU
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Kenya Sevens on Tuesday night jetted back into the country after a brilliant outing at the Vancouver Sevens where they won silver after losing 31-14 to Fiji in the main Cup final.

Innocent Simiyu and his charges touched down at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport shortly after 9pm.

Interestingly, Kenya's only IRB Series triumph came against the Fijians two years ago at the inaugural Singapore Sevens where Shujaa, under Benjamin Ayimba, crushed the islanders 31-7.

The show in Canada, Kenya's only main Cup final appearance this season, is a welcome relief for coach Simiyu who is preparing his charges ahead of the Commonwealth Games set for Gold Coast, Australia in April.

However, only a couple of Kenya Rugby Union directors, KRU CEO Ronald Bukusi as well as Director of Sports Harun Komen were present to welcome the team from its successful tour of America where the team bagged 29 points from finishing seventh in Las Vegas and second in Vancouver.

This welcome was a far cry from the mega reception granted to the team after it won the main cup in Singapore in 2016.

A trope of traditional dancers performed for an hour before the team walked through the international arrivals gates at 10.50pm. With the sighting of the team the dancing reached crescendo with players joining in the act.

But after travelling for 16 hours and having to deal with lost luggage that saw them delay leaving the arrivals area for close for two hours, the players and technical bench were understandably too tired to jig for long.

It was shocking to see Kenya 7s players walking around the airport at midnight hailing cabs to go home individually.

Captain Oscar Ouma said the loss to Fiji was down to mental strength. "I'm proud of the strides made by the team this season," Ouma said.