DUBAI, March 5 – A hatrick of tries by Kenya’s speed merchant Collins Injera gave Kenya the perfect start at the Rugby World Cup sevens in Dubai on Thursday as they came from behind to thrash Tunisia 29-7 at the Sevens Park.
Skipper Humphrey Kayange and Sidney Ashioya also scored a try each as Kenya overcame a slow start to run out comfortable winners in the day’s second match played infront of a largely partisan crowd that included Minister for sports Hellen Sambili, Volleyballers Edna Rotich and Janet Wanja and a certain Paul Tergat.
“We started very slowly and were a bit nervous but I am glad with the way we picked up as the game went on. Facing Tunisia was tricky and we are happy to have safely negotiated the first hurdle here,” said National sevens coach Benjamin Ayimba.
The home boys were tentative at the start and Tunisia briefly gave hope to pulling off the first shock of the tournament when Abess Kherfani scored and converted a try to give the North African nation a 7-0 lead.
But Kenya would have none of it as skipper Kayange broke from his own half to score at the corner though Lavin Asego missed the conversion.
Injera currently tops the IRB World Series scoring chart and he showed why by putting Kenya infront just before halftime after good work by Asego who broke through the middle before feeding Injera to do the rest. 10-7 halftime.
Former national skipper Innocent Simiyu had started shakily but he was a transformed player in the second half creating Injera’s second try with another burst through the middle.
Injera then completed his hatrick with Asego converting to give Kenya a 22-7 lead.
Ayimba threw on Sidney Ashioya and Wilson Kopondo for Simiyu and Allan Onyango with Ashioya scoring at the far corner to complete a comprehensive opening day for Kenya.
The Safari sevens champions will play Hong Kong at midday Friday before taking on England in their final pool game.
“For us to be sure of qualifying we must top the group so its obvious that the England will be massive and that we will be up against one of the best sides in the tournament but we have our objectives and shall try to achieve them,” said Ayimba.
“The Hong Kong must be taken at a very different level because we want to put ourselves in the best possible chance to qualify so hopefully we will be able to get a big score against them,” he added.