The Kenya seven-a-side rugby team is back home from the USA after competing in the fourth tournament of the International Rugby Board Sevens Series.
Kenya lost 7-22 to New Zealand in the Plate final after coming from behind to beat Samoa 17-12 in the semi-finals. With the targeted 18 points in the bag, Kenya is now placed sixth in the IRB Sevens World Series rankings with 24 points.
England and South Africa tie at top with 60 points each, New Zealand has 52, Argentina 48 and Fiji 32.
The Kenyans traveled to the USA fresh from being named the Kenya Sports Team (men) of The Year 2008 during the annual Sports Personality of the Year (SOYA) Gala. With their performance, they have taken a major stride towards retaining that honour.
Attention now switches to the fifth Rugby World Cup Sevens in Dubai and the
team has just a week to prepare for the 24-team tournament which kicks off
on March 5. Such is the urgency for the team to do well that the Kenya Rugby Football Union chairman Richard Omwela has launched a funds drive on a local radio station to garner support for the team.
Omwela appealed to the rugby fraternity to donate a minimum of Sh20,000 towards the cause.
Three Kenyan players are among the top scorers as the eight-leg tournament
reached the half-way stage in the USA.
Collins Injera and Australia’s Luke Morahan have each scored 18 tries to lead the standings. Mwamba forward Victor Oduor who scored two tries against New Zealand in a historic 24-7 win on Saturday has 10 tries.
Lavin Asego is fourth among the top point’s scorers. He has 91 points in a list led by New Zealand’s Tomasi Cama 115, Richard Kingi (Australia) 109 and Peni Rokodiva (Fiji) 96.
Injera is not far behind with 90 points, one ahead of England’s Benjamin Gollings, the IRB Sevens World Series top points scorer on 1,871.