Samurai Bulldogs dethroned Cowrie RFC as champions of the 2016 edition of Independence Sevens after a 27-10 win in a keenly contested final at the Onikan Stadium, Lagos Nigeria.
The Independence 7s rugby invitational tournament organised by Friends of Rugby in collaboration with the Lagos State Sport Commission, saw 12 teams take part.
Samurai Bulldogs and Cowrie RFC met in the final after sending off ten teams between them on their way to the final. Cowrie started the match strongly with two quick breaks by Onoru Jato and Azeez Ladipo but where both stopped by the hard tackling Moroccan international sweeper; Adil Achabar.
Cyprian Kuto bagged a brace in the 6th and 8th minute of the first half while Dan Sikuta, Acharbar and Billy Odhiambo scored one try each with Sikuta completing one conversion. Cowrie launched a comeback with tries from John Oladele and Christian Ogar in the second half but it was too late as Samurai held on for their win.
Achabar was named the most valuable player in the tournament used to commemorate Nigeria’s independence.
Prior to the final, Samurai beat Nigeria Police 43-0 in the semis after it had beaten Sabongari 61-0 in the quarters on Sunday morning. They beat Racing 17-0 and Panthers Select 52-0 in the pool matches played on Saturday. Cowrie were the only Nigerian team that scored against Samurai who had a clean sheet all through the tournament and the Samurais acknowledged Cowries tough challenge with a guard of honour on their way to picking up the runners up trophy.
Racing RFC won the Plate by beating Governors Select 5-0 while Panthers beat Royal Stallions 12-5 to claim the Bowl.
Kenyan boys Oscar Ouma, Leonard Mugaisi, Odhiambo, Sikuta, Alvine Otieno, Brad Owako, Sikuta, Felix Ayange, Alex Olaba and Kato featured for the Samurai side while Nigeria’s Black Stallions Ladipo, ThankGod Okafor, Christian Ogar, Jatto and John Oladele featured for Cowrie Rugby Club
Nigerian international based in the Uk; Temitope Okenla and Younes You and Adil Acharbar from France were the other players in the team.
Samurai 43 Nigeria Police 0
Cowrie 29 Barewa RFC 0
Barewa RFC 10 Governors Select 7
Nigeria Police 17 Racing RFC 10
Cowrie RFC 29 Gosar RFC 0
Samurai 61 Sabongari 0
Round one of matches.
Cowrie RFC 43-Royal Stallions 0
Barewa RFC 47-Gosar RFC 0
Nigeria Police 36- Buffalo RFC Abia 0
Samurai Bulldogs 17-Racing 0
Round two results
Governors Select 27-Royal Stallions 0
Sabongari 22-Buffalo RFC 0
Samurai Bulldogs 52-Panthers Select 0
1. Oscar Ouma 2. Alvin Otieno 3. Dan Sikuta 4.Felix Ayange 5. Billy Odhiambo 6. Cyprian Kuto 7 .Leonard Mugaisi 8. Alex Olaba 9. Temi Onkale 10.Younes You 11.Adil Achabar 12.Brad Owako
Cowrie Rugby Club
1.Christian Ogar 2.Olatunji Oduntan 3. Samuel Ekpo 4.ThankGod Okafor 5. Azeez Olanrewaju 5. Hafis Ayinla 6. Oladipo Olawale 7. Abiodun Oladele 8. Azeez Ladipo 9. John Oladele 10. Onoru Jatto 11. Alfred Oche 12 Isaac Sani