NAIROBI, April 27 – Kenya’s performance in the 2014-15 HSBC Sevens World Series has been underwhelming but for national vice-captain, Collins Injera, the sky is the limit as he eyes hitting the 200 tries mark as the season wraps in Glasgow and London.
Kenya record scorer sits third in all-time charts on 196, 34 behind leader Santiago Gomez Cora from Argentina and England’s Ben Gollings on 220.
Injera who has grounded seven tries in six games this term, declared he will be challenging for the top spot next season as the team seeks to rebuild from the ruins of a campaign Kenya flirted with relegation.
“This season has been tough, we have had our ups and downs with more downs but going to the final part of the season, we want to finish on a high and build momentum to the Olympics qualifiers and All Africa Games.
“There are only two people ahead of me so I’m targeting to finish the season at least on 200 tries and hopefully; I will still be playing next season to compete for the top position,” Injera, the 2008-09 World Series top try scorer on 42 told Capital Sport.
The 28-year-old Mwamba RFC centre revealed welcoming his second child; Clyde was a motivation boost at a time when the team was trying to pick the pieces as he eyes scoring more tries in the last two legs.
“Being a father for the second time is a good thing and also going to Hong Kong and scoring the first try was amazing. It was a special moment for me because my aim was to score and dedicate it to him,” Injera shared.
Heading to Glasgow 7s in Scotland for the penultimate round, Shujaa are drawn in a tough Pool against series leaders South Africa, champions New Zealand and Samoa but the speedy winger was confident they will overcome the daring challenge.
“It’s a tricky pool but chances are high (since) we have beaten all those teams previously but it will take a lot of mental and physical strength to get through such teams. We are up for the challenge and we want to go out there and give it our best shot.”
He also noted it will not be an easy ride in the 2016 Olympic Games regional qualifiers after they failed to get the automatic slot that is reserved for the top four finishers in the World Series.
“Qualifying for Olympics is every athlete’s dream and we are aware they will come prepared so it’s not going to be easy since the likes of Zimbabwe are playing well, they just missed out the other day on getting Core Status.
“But if we keep on building on what we have been practicing all along, try and improve on our weakness and minimize our mistakes; we will have a better chance of qualifying,” he elaborated.
The younger brother to former skipper, Humphrey Kayange however, confirmed to Capital Sport he is not quitting the game soon despite the backlash that followed leading senior players to strike over contractual disagreements with Kenya Rugby Union.
“I’m actually still playing so if I see someone coming to take my place, I would have given up but we have many young exiting players such as Dennis Ombachi, Billy Odhiambo and Oscar Ayodi who are really coming up and hopefully one day, they will fill in my shoes, maybe when I’m not playing but for now I’m still playing and let’s see how it goes.
“The love of the game keeps me moving and scoring is just a bonus, I’ve been fortunate to play in centre position where I get most balls and get defenders one on one and credit to all guys I have been playing with since I started,” Injera who made his national team debut in 2006 asserted.
-Kenya Cup dream-
Having succeed internationally both paying for the sevens and 15s national teams, Injera has not given up on lifting the Kenya Cup title with his club Mwamba who missed the play-offs this season where KCB RFC were crowned champions.
“It was a good season, we managed to finish fifth and we only missed the play-off by a point. Well we really worked hard but somehow we let ourselves down in some games but next season we need to sharpen up for us to challenge for the title. It’s the only local Cup that I haven’t lifted so hopefully we will go for it next year.”
Mwamba last won the domestic title three decades ago.