Injury-Plagued Kenya in Tricky Hong Kong 7s Pool

By Alex Isaboke

Nairobi - After a disappointing outing at the inaugural Vancouver 7s tournament, Kenya has been drawn in a tricky Pool A at the seventh round of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Hong Kong.

Shujaa, who collected one point at the sixth leg in Canada, will lock horns with power house New Zealand, France and Samoa when the Hong Kong leg takes place on April 8-10.

The Benjamin Ayimba side failed to improve on their Las Vegas Plate semi-final reach to amass 11 points from the two tournaments and remain eighth on 53 points, four behind seventh placed England.

Ayimba only managed to win one match in five matches, mauling Portugal 43-5 in their opening game before going on to lose 19-26 to Samoa, 24-19 to Fiji in the preliminary round, then succumbed 21-24 to France in the Bowl quarters and Russia's 7-24 Shield semi-final shock.

However, it was a good tour for vice captain Collins Injera, who took his overall series tally to 222 career tries to move into second place and eight short of record holder and World Rugby sevens columnist, Santiago Gomez Cora of Argentina.

It was the second time this season Kenya failed to advance to the Main Cup quarters after bowing out in the Bowl last four at the Dubai 7s.

New kid on the block Impala RFC utility back Sammy Oliech also had his better share as he grounded three tries to open his account in the prestigious rugby competition.

Heading to Hong Kong, Ayimba suffers injury blows after Dennis Ombachi, Billy Odhiambo, Oscar Ayodi and Leonard Mugaisi picked knocks.

The quartet have a month to recover but Ayimba is not a worried man as he has depth in the squad with Bush Mwale recovering to be available for selection.

The pool is familiar to Kenya as they have met all the three teams this year, stunning New Zealand 22-0 in Las Vegas but losing to both Samoa and France in Canada.

The team is expected to arrive on Thursday night to prepare for the Hong Kong and Singapore legs.

Source: All Africa