Rugby: Nigeria Police beats table toppers, Racing

Anulika Menanya

Rugby players from the Nigerian league
The South West Rugby Union League took a more interesting turn as the Nigeria Police Rugby Club beat table toppers; Racing Rugby Club 10-0, holding off the challenge of Racing in the much predicted match of the day.

Despite the dominance of Police forwards in the scrum and line outs in the early stages, both teams failed to record any points in the opening 17 minutes as there was a major battle at the breakdown which was well controlled by the centre referee; Gbenga Adeniran.
Police Racing’s backline fumbled the ball during an attack which led to an interception by Police scrum half and captain; Ramon Bakare, who picked up the ball in one hand and raced 30 meters away for the opening try under the post with the conversion surprisingly hitting the crossbar by Sulymon Oyebola.
The first half ended at 5-0 with Police playing the territorial game. 

Racing came all out in the second half looking for a breakthrough but the Police defense remained resilient. They gave away 3 penalties within 30 meters but racing’s young fly half; Monday Alex did not have his kicking boots on the day as he missed all three.
Racing centre; Jojo Jafar bagged a yellow card for a high tackle on Police speed star; Malik Saliu in the 60th minute and they took advantage immediately as winger; Ifeayi Afam stopped three defenders to race away for their second try from 40 meters, which surely will be considered as one of the best tries of the season.
Racing lost steam and couldn’t recover even when Jojo Jafar returned from the sin bin. The Police defense continued to work hard with Police prop, Adebabyo Isaac Tobi, putting in a man of the match display, as he crossed the gain at will all through the match. 10-0 it ended in favour of Police.
Cowrie bounces back

Earlier on, defending champions; Cowrie Rugby Club bounced back after suffering a 15-7 point defeat to Racing in week 2 with a big win over Gosar Rugby Club. 

Cowrie RFC started the game with their reserves and  Gosar RFC put up a good challenge in the opening stages, until Tunji Oduntan dummied two players to open the scoring for Cowrie.
Scrum half, Dipo Olawale, and Alfred Oche crossed the white wash for tries which was converted by Ladipo.
Cowrie continued to mount pressure on the young Gosar team in the second half and scored three more tries through Sammy Ekpo, Captain Azeez Ladipo and another by Alfred Oche to take final scores to 45-0. 

As the CMB Building Maintenance & Inv co Ltd sponsored league gets half way, all top three teams have defeated each other which makes the league more interesting and open for the most consistent team in the second round of the league.
 
As it is, Cowrie have climbed to the top spot with 9 points but with superior points difference while Racing also with 9 points dropped to 2nd spot.
Police also occupy the third spot with 9 points and Gosar are at the bottom, having lost all three games without a bonus point.