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Nigeria’s Black Stallions struggle in Africa Cup Sevens tournament

…we will bounce back in second leg – NRFF president   Nigeria’s senior national rugby team, the Black Stallions have struggled to impress in the…

  • …we will bounce back in second leg – NRFF president

 

Nigeria’s senior national rugby team, the Black Stallions have struggled to impress in the first round of the 2024 Rugby Africa Cup Sevens in Mauritius over the weekend.

Coach Steve Lewis’ men finished 10th in the 12-team table after losing all three games in Pool A while Uganda emerged victorious with 20 points.

The Black Stallions started their first leg campaign in Mauritius with a 36-14 loss to Madagascar and it was followed by an embarrassing 25-0 defeat to Kenya then a 26-5 loss to host country, Mauritius in their final Pool game.

In the semi-final for ninth place, Nigeria managed to beat Tunisia 19-5 but they bowed to Zambia in a 22-7 loss in the 9th/10th placement game.

Placed in a tough group with Kenya, Madagascar, and hosts Mauritius, and missing key players including their captain and co-captain Declan Nwachukwu and Olukolade Awobowale, as well as former captain Onoru Jatto and Olu Odunlami due to a bone bruise, the team struggled to find their footing.

Speaking after the first round, Nigeria Rugby Football Federation (NRFF) President Dr. Ademola Are assured that the Black Stallions would bounce back in the second leg of the tournament.

It will be recalled that before the tournament kickoff, the NRFF took a significant step in repositioning rugby in the country by signing a three-year partnership deal with Flovale Consulting.

The partnership will enable Flovale Consulting to create a dedicated channel and focus efforts on making rugby one of the most popular sports in Nigeria, while promoting body and mind development.

“We had some challenges that affected the team’s performance. Our captain and co-captain couldn’t make it due to injury, and other key players from the Olympic qualifiers were also unavailable, affecting the team’s chemistry. However, in the second leg, we hope to do better as there will be a better understanding among the players,” he concluded.

At the top of the table, Uganda were dominant and are in pole position to secure a ticket for the 2025 World Challenger Series after beating an impressive Madagascar 31-12 in the final.

Madagascar settled for second position on the table with 19 points while South Africa occupied the third spot with 16 points followed by Burkina Faso in fourth with 14 points.

 

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