Curtain Falls On Lagos 7s Rugby Tourney

The finals of 2013 Lagos 7s Rugby tournament, which commenced on Saturday will end on Sunday, 24 November, at Onikan Stadium in Lagos, Nigeria.
While the final of the club category holds later in the evening, the girls and boys finals of the school category will be played as curtain raiser for the grand finale.
At the group qualifiers and elimination series held on Saturday, the teams from Tincan Secondary School and Falomo School emerged finalists and will contest for the Girls U-12 Cup, while Ojoku and Toyibat Schools will tango in the third place match.
The Boys U-16 final will see the Barewa School from Kano taking on Onitolo School, while the third place match will feature Toyibat School and Igbobi College. gathered that preliminary games of the club category would open Sunday’s events from 9:40am, as 6 Clubs have been lined up to do battle in the Rugby development initiative, sponsored by Promasidor, the manufacturers of Cowbell Milk.
Rugby Promoter Mike Archer, who spoke on behalf of ESP, said top Nigerian Rugby team; Police Rugby Club of Lagos will slug it against other teams such as Raising of Lagos, Shell Rugby Club from Warri, and Barewa Rugby Club from Kano. Rugby Clubs from Zaria and Ilorin are also listed to participate in the 7s club tournament.
Archer, a South African Advertising expert, told that the Lagos 7s remains a tournament, which offers young talents in the county an opportunity to showcase their potentials.
Speaking on the standard of grassroots Rugby in Nigeria, Archer noted that the sport is yet to really take its rightful position in the country’s sporting arena.
“Based on what I observed during the on-going Lagos 7s tournament among the secondary schools, I believe that Nigerian youths have the skill. They are very athletic and I appreciate their talent, but they do not have the techniques of Rugby. Apart from that, it’s really heart warming to know that the students are enthusiastic about Rugby and have the potentials to go places in the future if they are encouraged and guarded well”, he said.
Archer said the major challenges facing Rugby in Nigeria are lack of interest by the government, poor funding, non availability of facilities such as playing turf, posts and balls. He also noted that Rugby needs publicity to grow in the country; “People don’t know much about Rugby here, especialy the rules of the game, that’s why the media should come in to partner with the professionals and create more awareness to encourage the kids to play the sport”.
“I can see that the Nigerian sports authorities do not take Rugby serious, but there are numerous talents who are willing to make it big in the sport. I know that football is Nigeria’s number one sport, but the country can equally make an appreciable impact in international Rugby”, Archer said.
The South African, who has spent about 10 years doing business and developing Rugby in Nigeria, reasoned that Nigeria needs a strong national Rugby team that can play at the top level, saying the future looks bright if the authorities can look into the physical game as a money spinning sport just like football.
“I have also seen that Nigerian Rugby coaches are willing to develop, but they lack experience. They are on level 2 in coaching, but the coaches themselves need modern coaching to attain more experience to be able to impact on the young players.
“Nigeria does not even have a national coach, there are no established coaches at the state level, and the league is not functioning properly. That’s why the referees, coaches and other participants do not have the required exposure”.
Meanwhile, the Lagos 7s will give the Nigeria Rugby body an opportunity to assess the players and probably select a Rugby team for the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh next year.

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