NAIROBI, Kenya, June 2 – Collins Injera says that finishing the 2008/2009 International Rugby Board (IRB) season as top try scorer was compensation enough for not winning the IRB Sevens Player of the Year award.Injera who was nominated alongside his brother Humphrey Kayange said on Tuesday that he is content with just being recognized as the series’ most potent attacker and that winning the award would have been a bonus.
“It feels good to be top try scorer because it was one of my targets for this season,” said Injera who also finished second on the player points table with 210 points, 50 behind England legend Ben Gollings.
The Mwamba flier lost out to England talisman Ollie Phillips who was awarded the title at a gala ceremony last Sunday after the Edinburgh Sevens.
He spoke after the team arrived yesterday from the United Kingdom where they reached the plate semi final at Murrayfield and secured the bowl title at Twickenham a week earlier.
National Sevens rugby coach Benjamin Ayimba hailed his side’s performance in the just concluded 2008/2009 International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens series.
Ayimba highlighted Kenya’s appearance at the main cup semis the Rugby World Cup Sevens as one of the highlights of the season.
“It’s been a very good season by any standard. There was a lot of joyous performances and a good performance at the world cup,” said Ayimba.
"The six points we managed to get over the last two legs helped us finish sixth so I’m pleased with that,” he added.
Ayimba had special praise for Injera and Kayange for being nominees for the IRB Sevens Player award.
“Both of them they deserved to win it. I’m happy that we have such players in our squad,” said the former Kenya captain.
“There very big in the sport that they play and also very humble. The teamwork that they have showed has gotten them to where they are,” he added.
Kayange who captained Kenya for a second straight season echoed his coach’s sentiments.
“We achieved what we achieved more than we wanted to achieve. There’s a good feeling in the team at the moment and that we can set goals and achieve them though we could have succeeded even more,” he added.
Next up for the team is the Safari Sevens in a fortnight’s time and Kayange is looking forward to leading his team in front of their home crowd.
“Being defending champions we have to make a statement. We just need to sort out our defence and once that is done we’ll go out there and have fun,” said Kayange.