The Nigerian national rugby team, the Black Stallions, arrived in Cape Coast in the early hours of Monday 29 July after Ivory Coast managed to beat the Ghana Eagles by 22 points to 12 on Sunday 28 July on the Nduom Sports Stadium in Elmina-Ghana.
The Nigeria Black Stallions will face the Elephants of Ivory Coast on Wednesday 31 July 2019 at the Nduom Sports Stadium in Elmina-Ghana for the second of three friendly internationals in the WARS (West African Rugby Series) Ghana Rugby Men’s XVs Invitationals.
The WARS (West Africa Rugby Series) was conceived by the President of Ghana Rugby (www.Ghana.Rugby), Mr Herbert Mensah, as far back as 2015 and put into practice with the July 2019 Ghana Rugby Men’s XVs Invitationals between Ghana, Nigeria and Ivory Coast.
The Presidents of Nigeria and Ivory Coast hailed this initiative as a “huge leap” for the development of rugby in West Africa and all the Presidents agreed that this must become a yearly event that will hopefully be complemented by tournaments for women’s XVs as well as both men’s and women’s VIIs.
The Ivory Coast Elephants managed to beat the Ghana Eagles by 22 points to 12 in a gruelling match that could have gone anyway.
Ghana opened the scoring early when Michael Acquaye scored a try that was converted by Francis Donkor to put Ghana in the lead by 7 points.
Eleven minutes later Issah Bassono of Ivory Coast crossed the Eagles’ goal line. The try was not converted leaving Ghana with a slim 2 point margin lead.
Gideon Klugey of the Ghana Eagles scored again in the 27th minutes. The unconverted try gave the Eagles a 5 point lead.
Ivory Coast again scored a try in the 33rd minute courtesy of Brice Paul Arnaud Bollou, converted by Captain Tidane Kamara to level the scores at 12 each.
Fifteen minutes after the 2nd half started scrumhalf Douho Konon of Ivory Coast crossed the Eagles’ line and scored an unconverted try to put the Elephants in the lead for the first time in the match.
What broke the camel’s back were two yellow cards for Francis Donkor and Lukman Yaya in the last ten minutes of the match. The Ivory Coast capitalised on the fact that Ghana was playing with only 13 men on the field and scored the final try in the 77th minute by Charles Lebon. The try was again converted by Captain Tidane Kamara which brought up the final score of Ghana 12, Ivory Coast 22.
Ghana 12 – 22 Ivory Coast
Try Scorers: Ghana: Michael Acquaye, Gideon Klugey Ivory Coast: Issah Bassono, Brice Paul Arnaud Bollou, Charles Lebon.
Conversion: Ghana: Francis Donkor Ivory Coast: Tidane Kamara (2)
The lineups for tomorrow’s match between Nigeria and Ghana are as follows:
First XV: 1 Ricky Ezenwa Nwagbara 2 Umar Ibrahim Suraj 3 Godwin Dina Otoro JR 4 Isaac Cato Sani 5 John Terseer Kura 6 Alex Onome Richard 7 Ekubi Samuel Ekpo 8 Jude Peter Abrakson 9 Hassan Muhammed 10 Nuhu Ibrahim Samila 11 Alfred Sunday Oche 12 Joshua Effiong Etim 13 Onori-Oyiza Jude Emmanuel Jatto 14 Abdulmalik Atomuhaku Salihu 15 Gebriel Etim John
Substitutes: 16 Mohammad Ahmad Umar 17 Sunday Bassey 18 Abduljelili Adeniyi Adeshina 19 Suleimon Olatunde Abdulganiyu 20 Monday Henry Omoragieva 21 Jeremiah Peter 22 Daniel John Christoper 23 Ezikiel Essien Tom
First XV: 1. Mohamed Sidibe 2. Arouna Bamba 3. Tiede Kone 4. Innocent Baouar 5. Mouhamed Barro 6. Tidiane Kamara 7. Louison Valentin N’zoko 8. Issa Bassono 9. Litto Jean Vincent Tete 10. Benjamin Paul Richard Maurice 11. Christian Renaud Eba 12. Semonnin Firmin Doue 13. Douho Gnonsio Firmin Kohon 14. Charles Lebon Zamble 15. Gniple Henri Gerald Gnirigba
Substitutes: 116. Alpha Diallo 17. Adama Camara 18. Mamadou Cherif Kone 19. Moustapha Berete 20. Brice Paul Arnaud Bollou 21. Odoukou Paul Arnaud Kamon 22. N’dri Attoumbre Kouakou Eric M’bra 23. Eby Jacques Arnauld Bomoua
Coach: Soumahoro Bakary
Match Officials: Match Referee: Mathias Bvepfepfe (Zimbabwe) Assistant Referees: Jeffrey Chiwanda (Zimbabwe) and Ishmael Adamah (Ghana)
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Ghana Rugby (www.Ghana.Rugby) is the official full member of both World Rugby (2017) and Rugby Africa in Ghana-West Africa and is responsible for the management and development of the Game Rugby Union in the country. The Union is governed by a Constitution and administers five KPAs (Key Performance Areas) namely: (1) Youth Development & Growth through the World Rugby “Get Into Rugby” Programme, (2) Women in Ghana Rugby, (3) Training & Education, (4) Domestic Competitions and (5) International Performance.