By Olubori Oduntan
On Saturday, August 11, 2018, at the Stade General Seyni Kountchede in Niamey, Niger Republic, the Nigeria Rugby National Team, the Black Station, trashed their Nigerien counterpart by 59 points to 13 points in an explosive international rugby test match.
Nigerian Captain, Azeez Ladipo, opened proceeding with a Penalty Conversion 5 minutes into the game.
Joshua Etim scored the first Try of the match which was ably converted by Ladipo Azeez, while Christian Ogar scored the second Try of the match and also converted by sure footer Azeez Ladipo.
Niger forwards mounted pressure on the Black Stallions defence and won two penalties which they kicked over (Converted) to keep the score at 17points to 6points at half time.
The second half resumed with the Black Stallions’ determination to make a mark against the Super 16 Northern Africa Rugby Champions when they continued from where they stopped in the first half. They ran in 6 more Tries from Jato Onoru (3 Tries), Alfred Oche (2 Tries), and Azeez Ladipo (1Try). Black Stallion’s Captain Azeez Ladipo also made 6 Conversions, while substitute Scrum Half Monday Omorogieva concluded proceedings with 2 precise conversions which brought the total points in the second half to 42points to 7points.
The Nigerien Rugby National Team scored a consolation try of their own in the 71st minute to keep the score line at a respectable 59points to 13points in favour of The Black Stallions.
This International Rugby test match was organised by Rugby Afrique to welcome Nigeria back to its fold after the lifting of the International Suspension.
Nigeria Rugby National team the Black Stallions newly appointed South Africa Coach Mr Bronson Weir was full of praise for his lads whom he described as work in progress.
The President of the Nigeria Rugby Football Federation Mr Kelechukwu Mbagwu who led the Nigerian delegation showered so much praise and reward on the team and the Most Valuable Player of the match; Samuel Ekpo (Flanker) for his sterling and dogged display throughout the match.
The next international rugby match will be in September in the Africa Rugby Regional Sevens championship in Ivory Coast which is also a Pre – Olympic qualifiers and an All Africa Games / Africa Rugby Bonze Cup qualifiers for 2019.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian High Commissioner’s representative Mr Yakubu Adamu (Senior Consulor) who came alongside other Nigeria Community members in Niamey to support the team were full of accolades for the fantastic display by the Black Stallions.
According to the Technical Director of the Rugby Federation, Mr Ntiense Williams, popularly called ‘Mr Rugby,’ “This Test Match was a must win for Nigeria because we have finally played Niger who walked us over in 2007 to win by default the Super 16 North Africa League. We will like to sincerely thank the leadership of Rugby Afrique led by Mr Abdulazis Bhudgja and Mr Khaled Babbou who organised the rugby test match for Nigeria.
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