The Elephants beat the Rwandan Silverbacks (60-03) at the Bingerville Municipal Stadium in the qualifying rounds of the Rugby Africa Cup 2020.
Côte d’Ivoire’s Elephants will now enter the group stage of the Rugby Africa Cup 2020 where they will face Kenya and Morocco in June 2020.
In front of their home fans, the Côte d’Ivoire team dominated the match and put in a merciless 60-03 performance against Rwanda. With 8 tries, of which 4 were converted, and 4 penalties, the Ivorian Fifteens succeeded in turning the match in their favour. At half-time, the score stood at 31-0 to Côte d’Ivoire, to ultimately finish at 60-3.
With the excellent Meité Bakary (man of the match; scored 2 tries), Salif Touré, Konan N’Guessan, Bossonon Issa, Barro Mohamed and Peres Paul who all scored a try each, the Elephants thrilled their supporters, who came in droves to the Bingerville Municipal Stadium. The Rwandan Silverbacks were consoled with a penalty from Moise Habumugisha.
In the group stage of the RAC 2020, Côte d’Ivoire will be Group B, and will go to Morocco to cross swords with the Atlas Lions on June 13, 2020 before Kenya at home on June 27.
Claude Ezoua, Rwanda’s Coach: “It went wrong for us in the scrum. Defensively, we were not up to standard and so it’s normal that we lost with this score. We have started the job at rugby Rwanda, and we are going to continue working to reach the level of the greatest teams. We have drawn the lessons from this match and are going to continue working in an academic setting. That is what we did when we were in the Côte d’Ivoire. We are going to follow the same method to become a great rugby nation.”
Donat Kanyahango, Captain of Rwanda: “We were not up to standard. The Côte d’Ivoire were better on the field. Well done to them. We are going to continue our work to reach the highest level. In this match, we made errors in the scrum. Defensively, we weren’t there. And when you play against the Côte d’Ivoire, you pay a high price for these kind of errors.”
Edgard Babou, Côte d’Ivoire’s Sports Manager: “We had to put in an impressive performance here at home and that’s what we did. But it’s still not perfect. We must continue to work hard to beat Morocco and then Kenya. The group stage will be challenging. We need to continue the work we have started to come top of group B. Kenya is a big obstacle.”
Meité Bakary, Captain Côte d’Ivoire: “It was a great pleasure to return to play in the Côte d’Ivoire. We needed to thrill our Ivorian fans, to make them smile. I thank all those who have supported us. We for sure beat Rwanda, but they caused us some trouble. We have qualified for the group stage, now it’s a matter of working hard to be ready for Kenya and Morocco. Our ambition still stands, and we are going to work hard to achieve that ambition. I happened to be man of the match, but congratulations to the whole team. Rugby is a team sport. And we take the hits together.”