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, July 28, on the Nduom Sports Stadium in Elmina-Ghana.
The Nigeria Black Stallions will face the Elephants of Ivory Coast on Wednesday, July 31, 2019, at the Nduom Sports Stadium in Elmina, Ghana for the second of three friendly internationals in the West African Rugby Series, (WARS), Ghana Rugby Men’s XVs invitationals.
The WARS was conceived by the President of Ghana Rugby, 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.
The match between Nigeria and Ivory Coast has been made available by contributions from Rugby Africa, Ghana Rugby, Sunda International and GB Foods by way of the Gino brands.
Ghana 12 – 22 Ivory Coast
Ghana: Michael Acquaye, Gideon Klugey Ivory Coast:Issah Bassono, Brice Paul Arnaud Bollou, Charles Lebon.
Ghana: Francis Donkor Ivory Coast:Tidane Kamara (2)
The lineups for tomorrow’s match between Nigeria and Ghana are as follows:
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
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
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
16. 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)