Rugby Africa 7s Cup: Nigeria struggle as Uganda win first leg

Rugby Africa 7s Cup: Nigeria struggle as Uganda win first leg

Nigeria men’s rugby team, the Black Stallions 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.

President of Nigeria Rugby Football Federation (NRFF), Dr. Ademola Are attributed the Black Stallions’ lacklustre performance to the absence of key players and he assured of a better outing in the second leg next weekend.

“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,” Are said. “However, in the second leg, we hope to do better as there will be a better understanding among the players.”

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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