Kenya continued to impress at the USA Sevens, which has become their tournament almost as much as it has been for USA Rugby. After what can only be described as a lackluster start to their HSBC World Sevens Series campaign, Collins Injera led the Kenyans to victories over Wales (22-14) and Argentina (21-7) in Las Vegas to win the USA Sevens Plate championship.
Lumped into the same pool at #1 New Zealand and #2 Fiji in the season kickoff Australia Sevens, the Kenyans went 1-2 in the first day, racking up a win against Niue before losing to Tonga and Japan in the second day.
The Kenyans’ woes continued the following week in Dubai, going winless for the first day, including a surprising 21-5 loss to Zimbabwe. They rallied the second day with a 35-5 win against the UAE in the Shield semifinals before losing to Samoa to end their day.
The South Africa Sevens and New Zealand Sevens were not much kinder to Kenya, where they lost to Zimbabwe in the South African Sevens Shield Finals before beating Australia 12-7 in Wellington’s Shield Finals.
The New Zealand Sevens marked the start of Kenya’s upward swing, as they carried the momentum from their Shield win in Wellington to move one level up the competition in Las Vegas with a Plate victory.
The Kenyans have usually stepped up their game when playing in the USA Sevens, whether they are able to feed off of the energy of their fan base in the USA (they are usually a crowd favorite in Vegas) or they begin to gel as a team about that time. Now the next question is, will they be able to carry that momentum on to the Hong Kong Sevens in late March?