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ELECTION 2022

Kenya's sevens rugby team must win over disappointed fans

EDITORIAL
By Fred Waga | Apr 15th 2017 | 2 min read

Fans are running out of patience with the Kenya rugby team. Indeed, Kenyans expect nothing short of victory when the Sevens squad goes back to the hallowed grounds of Singapore this weekend. Singapore is where the team secured its first ever victory in a leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series, and it is also where it must stop a string of losses in this competition.

The team has had a pretty unimpressive run so far and is lying eleventh in the 19-team competition. It is now quite apparent that the repeated meddling of the starting line-up has left the team disjointed during some of the games that have been played since the new season began. It is also increasingly looking like the team has not jelled under coach Innocent Simiyu, appointed earlier in the season.

The Kenya Sevens team has a lot going for it. Rugby has had a pretty stable leadership compared with some of the national sports associations where wrangles that have disrupted activities. Furthermore, funds sourced from sponsors have steadily filled the Kenya Rugby Union’s coffers and complaints about missed allowances by players have all but dissipated.

Another shoddy performance would be inexcusable. Significantly, it would discourage sponsors and leave rugby fans more dispirited. The team has what it takes to retain the Singapore title. Or at the very least finish in a respectable position in the main cup competition. This can be achieved because the squad has strong and experienced players who have been called up for this round, including Collins Injera, who stood out during the Singapore competition last year.

Injera was the all-time leading try-scorer until England’s Dan Norton surpassed him recently. But this is now a footnote in history. The Kenya rugby team must reclaim its pride of place. It must strive to chalk up a win in Singapore to demonstrate that its performance last year was no flash in the pan.

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