By Uche Dozie
On Saturday, the Nigerian Rugby Team received a heartbreak in their quest to qualify for the 2020 Rugby Africa Cup after a 63 – 3 trouncing by host Madagascar in ANTANANARIVO.
The Nigerian team also known as black stallions had come into the match with the hope of winning even though it was going to be a herculean task. They had started well to put the score at a respectable level in the first half but things went out of hand in the second half.
Black Stallions captain, Godwin Dina Otoro feels the outcome of the match is as a result of the team’s tiredness and not being in the proper shape before the game.
While speaking with journalists, Otoro said ” We could have done better, if the team had been in better shape. We are tired, because of delays in our journey. On the other hand, we found that the Madagascar team also has a good technical level in rugby.”
According to Afrique Rugby, The Makis of Madagascar impose their game, during the first ten minutes taking advantage of the advantage of the field and especially the presence of the 22,000 fans, who came massively to Mahamasina, this day. In the third minute, Rija Rakotoarimanana scored the first attempt of the match, which was transformed by Herizo Rasoanaivo.
For the second period, the game changed completely. The XV Makis of Madagascar danced on the Black Stallions, scoring three consecutive tries in 12 minutes. Only a minute before the final whistle, in the 79th minute, did the Nigerians score a penalty, thanks to Number 10, John Terseer Kura.
The Nigerian team may have lost the match but Nigerian coach, Bronson Weir has learnt from the match.
Bronson Weir, Nigerian coach: “we had a new experience with this Madagascar team. We learned a lot, not only about the game, but also about the love of rugby by these thousands of spectators. Sincerely, on the technical level, Madagascar has a lot of potential in rugby, and we see together, the speed of the game of the XV Makis. They put pressure on us, and we had to suffer because our players are also tired. As you know, we had delays in our trip. To conclude, we have learned, we have had new experiences and we will take our revenge at the next competition.”
The Makis of Madagascar won their ticket to the group phase of the 2020 Rugby Africa Cup at home with the win.
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