Rugby: Nigeria moves up in ranking

Anulika Menanya, Lagos

Nigeria’s national rugby team, the Black Stallions has moved up in the latest rankings in Africa after defeating Morocco 19 – 5 in their last match to finish seventh at the Africa Cup 7s tournament that ended at the Kasarani Stadium, Nairobi Kenya on Saturday September 24, 2016.

This is no doubt a step forward for Nigeria having finished 8th at 2015 edition held in Johannesburg, South Africa.

 The Black Stallions began their campaign in Nairobi on a shaky note by losing their opening match to host country, Kenya 33-5, but bounced back to beat Senegal 36-5 in their second game of the Pool A to place 6th on the overall rakings after Day 1 with 4 points .

 The Nigerian side was however unlucky in the semi-final match against Tunisia on Saturday as the North Africans needed a sudden death try in extra time to beat them 12 – 7.

The captain Azeez Ladipo-inspired Black Stallions to put that defeat behind them with a 19-5 defeat against Morocco in the 7/8th ranking match.

While, Uganda Cranes have won the Africa Cup Sevens after beating Namibia 38 – 19 in the final played also on Saturday.

Uganda had beaten Kenya 17 – 12 in the semis while Namibia saw off Madagascar 10 – 7 to set up the final. Kenya finished third after an emphatic 46 – 0 battering of Madagascar in the 3rd/4th play offs. 

Namibia Sevens and Uganda have also qualified for the World Sevens Series qualifiers to be played during the Hong Kong Sevens in 2017.

Uganda and Namibia will represent the continent for the sole ticket to participate in the 2017/2018 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series after finishing first and second position in the Africa Cup 7s played in Nairobi.

Uganda will play in Pool B where it will take on Cape Town Sevens champions South Africa, Mike Friday’s USA and London Sevens winners Scotland. The Cranes will there after head to South Africa for the Cape Town Sevens.

Zimbabwe finished fifth with a 17 – 14 win over Tunisia who dropped to sixth, Nigeria saw off Morocco 19 – 5 to finish seventh, Senegal beat Botswana to finish ninth while Zambia beat Mauritius 45 – 0 to finish 11th.

Round 3 Results:

Botswana 24 – 21 Mauritius

Zambia 14 – 24 Senegal

Zimbabwe 24 – 5 Morocco

Nigeria 7 – 12 Tunisia

Madagascar 7 – 10 Namibia

Kenya 12 – 17 Uganda

Round 4 Results:

11/12th – Mauritius 0 – 45 Zambia

9/10th – Botswana 0 – 55 Senegal

7/8th – Morocco 5 – 55 Nigeria

5/6th  – Zimbabwe 14 – 17 Tunisia

3/4th  – Madagascar 0 – 46 Kenya


Namibia 19 – 38 Uganda

Final Ranking:

1. Uganda

2. Namibia

3. Kenya

4. Madagascar

5. Zimbabwe

6. Tunisia

7. Nigeria

8. Morocco

9. Senegal

10. Botswana

11. Zambia

12. Mauritius