By Andrew Alibor & Ayoola Adeleke
Team Edo took the first day’s shine off other teams as a series of enthralling matches went underway at the National Women’s Rugby Sevens Tournament in Asaba, Delta State, with all 12 teams pooled into three groups of four – A, B & C out to trade tackles between Friday to Monday, July 17, 2023, in a three-day tourney hosted by Nigeria Rugby Football Federation (NRFF).
The formidable Edo RFC took to the field to set the pace in the first round of games with an easy cruise (27-0) past Imo Pyramid RFC – one of their two opponents from the South Eastern Hemisphere, before having the other mercilessly torn apart, Abia Buffalos RFC 41-0 and finishing high with a consecutive win 15-0 over Team Delta B to seat comfortably on the summit of Pool B.
While the raves of the moment will gear up to battle with the three best teams from the other groups in Sunday’s fixtures in the Championship.
Other pool A results saw Gosar RFC beating Benue Buffalos 19-7, Anambra Angels 15-0 and Nigeria Police 27-0. While Anambra Angels RFC and Nigeria Police RFC ended 17-0, Nigeria Police RFC lost yet again to Benue Buffalos RFC as it finished 5-19 with Anambra Angels RFC thrashing Benue Buffalos RFC 10-0.
However, Pool C was a good one for Delta RFC also known as Team Delta A defeated both Eastern Springbok and ECO II (28-0, 19-0) respectively. Although, their match with Yankari RFC was a walk over to the host team. Before the humiliation, Eastern Springbok RFC had narrowly scaled through the test of ECO II in a 7-5 win, as they later had their fair share of walk over against Yankari RFC.
ECO II failed to pick up any win after the close of business in the first-round matches but a walkover from Yankari RFC was all they have.
The competition is part of the opportunity to hunt for the best talents in Nigeria Women’s Rugby, with the competition set to also serve as a medium to select players for the national female team that will later go on training tours across a good number of West African countries.
Hostilities continue Sunday Morning as teams will file out to battle it out in the quarter-finals and semi-finals.
The Edo State Female Rugby Team who came tops with the highest qualifying points of 84 will kick-off the Day Two of the Championship with the first Quarter Finals against the Benue Buffalos Female Rugby team at 9 am
Other matches in the Quarter Finals will feature the host Delta A Female Rugby Team locking horns against neighbours Anambra Angles Female Rugby Team in the second match of the day. This will be followed by the Delta B Female Rugby Team tackling their neighbours again, the Eastern Springboks Female Rugby Team of Anambra State.
The last Quarter Final Match of the Cup Competition will feature the Gosar Female Rugby Team of Lagos slogging it out against Imo Pyramids Female Rugby Team.
Meanwhile, there will also be two losers games between the Eastern Abia Female Rugby Team and Western Eco 2 Female Rugby Team of Lagos, whilst the Nigerian Police Rugby team will be on the lookout for the winners of that game to move to the next stage of the competition.
The Semi-Finals will kick off immediately after these games.
Team Edo meanwhile had Coach Williams Ntiense spoke of the confidence in the team as he believes that their preparation and determination will help them achieve a great feat in Asaba.