Rugby: Cowrie Emerges Champion Of NRFF Super Cup

It was an evening to remember as Cowrie RFC of Lagos won the inaugural edition of the CMB sponsored Super cup defeating Kaduna RFC by 8 points to 5.

The event which was decided at the mainbowl of the National Stadium in Lagos, was organized by the Nigeria Rugby Football Federation to determine the national club champion which features the winners of the South and Northern league.

Chidera Felix bagged a yellow carded very early in the game for an unacceptable challenge on Cowrie’s Captain Azeez Ladipo which was an early sign of how tensed the match was going to be.

In the tension soaked encounter, captain of Cowrie RFC, Azeez Ladipo fluffed the golden opportunity for his team to take the lead in the 1st half as he missed a penalty kick from an unlikely position.

The match could not provide a winner at the end of regulation time as the disciplined Kaduna RFC defense contained all the attacks of their opponents led by Onoru Jato.

After consultation with the match commission Mohammed Salisu, Centre Referee, Adeniran Adeyinka decided that the game had to go into 30 minutes extra time.

1st try of the day was finally scored early in the 1st half of extra time through Chidera Felix of Kaduna to give them a 5 points lead, while the chance of extending their lead to 7 was thrown away with the resultant conversion missed.

Cowrie hit back moments later through John Sylvanus with a well worked try to restore parity between the evenly matched sides.

Cowrie brought their experience to play as they went ahead courtesy of a penalty kick in the 2nd half through Azeez Ladipo, a result that was enough for them to win the title.

The match ended with a narrow 8-5 points win by Cowrie RFC.

The presence of the Senior Special Assistant to Lagos State Governor on Sport, Adeyinka Adeboye gave the desired glamour the event needed as he presented the trophy to Cowrie RFC of Lagos as winners of the inaugural NRFF Super Cup.

All was not lost for Kaduna as Chidera Felix was voted as the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.

Speaking after the match, Ladipo said, “I feel very elated, I have to give it to the boys because they did very well after being able to overturn that scary game in our favor.”

“It was not easy, I have to give it to our technical team as well because we got a lot of turnover balls from the breakdown. I think that was where we won the game and in the line out.”

He lauded the effort of the NRFF for organising such tournament which was the first of its kind in a long time as they continue to reposition the sport in Nigeria

In his own reaction, Coach of Kaduna RFC, Richard Raphael praised the efforts of his team as he described them as heroes after withstanding the barrages of Cowrie.

“It’s been long we had a formidable game like this, the boys played even beyond my expectation because we only trained for 3 days since we are off-season considering our season start by July.”

Raphael who said he had to rally his team at the shortest notice from the NRFF believes that a brighter future awaits his team if they can continue at such enviable pace.

President of the federation, Sir Edward Fom Pam commended the generosity of Richard Raphael who is a board member of the federation, for supporting the organiser with the supply of trophies presented.

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