Nigeria Rugby national team, the Black Stallions, defeated host team Niger Republic 59 points to 13 points in a thrilling international rugby test match on Saturday 11th August 2018 at the Stade General Seyni Kountchede in Niamey. The friendly was Nigeria’s first international match since Rugby Africa lifted the ban placed on the nation due to a leadership crisis.
The Black Stallions began the onslaught with perfect penalty finish 5 minutes into the game by team captain Azeez Ladipo. Joshua Etim scored the first try of the match, which was skillfully converted by Ladipo while Christian Ogar scored the second try, also converted by Ladipo.
The Niger Republic boys put up a good first half fight, earning two penalties in the process which they converted to keep the scoreline at 17 points to 6 points at halftime.
The second half of the encounter saw the Black Stallions play to prove a point on the international scene as Nigeria scored six more tries from Jato Onoru, Alfred Oche and Ladipo who scored three tries, two tries and one try respectively.
Ladipo also produced six conversions, while substitute, Monday Omorogieva closed the event with two perfect conversions, bringing the total points tally, 42 points to 7.
In the 71st minute, the Black Stallions scored a consolatory try to end the scoreline at 59 points to 13.
Nigeria has successfully solidified its place in the African Rugby scene after the huge win against the Super 16 Northern Africa champions in a game organized by Rugby Afrique to welcome Nigeria back into its body and to also keep the national team in its current ranking after lifting of the international suspension.
The Nigeria Rugby Football Federation (NRFF) President Kelechi Mbagwu, who led the delegation to Niger Republic, lauded the team for a job well done in maintaining Nigeria’s continental Rugby honour. He also stated that the Black Stallions will play their next international game in September at the Africa Rugby Regional Sevens Championships in Cote d’Ivoire. The game is a pre-Olympics qualifier as well as a 2019 All Africa Games/Africa Rugby Bronze Cup qualifier.
Speaking to newsmen, the Technical Director of the Rugby Federation Mr Ntiense Williams said, “The test match was a must-win for Nigeria because we have finally played Niger who walked us over in 2007 to win the Super 16 North Africa League by default. 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.”
Feature image: pulse.ng