Conquerors SC from Accra successfully defended their 2015/16 crown in the 2016/17 Ghana Rugby Club Championship when they beat old rivals Cosmos Buffalos by 24 to 3 at the Accra Sports Stadium on Saturday 18 February 2017.
The conquering team scored four tries and converted two while the runners up, Cosmos Buffalos, was only able to convert one penalty kick. The tries for Conquerors were scored by Jalilu Yusif, Theophilus Opai, Aminu Nasiru and Jason Dzata while Rabiu Mohammed converted two of the four tries.
In a post match interview Mr. Herbert Mensah, President of Ghana Rugby, said that he was satisfied with the progress in the quality of Rugby played since last year’s GRCC Tournament.
“Rugby has come a long way since my Administration took over in June 2014 and, although there will always be room for improvement, I am satisfied that the development of our senior men’s 15s teams have seen dramatic improvements,” Mensah said.
The head coach of the winning team, Mr Lovemore Kuzorera, said that he promised before the match that the Conquerors will go full out to win and retain the Rugby Championship and that they indeed did that.
Mr Kuzorera continued to say, “We made too many very basic mistakes and conceded too many penalties and the win gives no reason for complacency. My congratulations go to the Buffalos team who was a tough and worthy opponent on the day.”
The losing team’s head coach, Mr Amuzuloh Salim, said that the loss was a big disappointment to him and his team but assured they will be back in 2017/18 with a better and better prepared squad to regain old glories.
Mr. Omar Shariff Captan, PRO and Board Member of the Greater Accra Rugby Association, expressed his wishes that everybody will seriously look at the safety aspects of Rugby in line with the new emphasis placed on that aspect of Rugby by the governing body, World Rugby.
In the 3rd Place Playoffs Griffons RFC from Cape Coast managed to beat Lions RFC by 42 points to 0 to take hold of the bronze medals.
The event was also enhanced with a sevens match between both a ladies and a youth team before the finals in the afternoon.
Mr Mensah also mentioned that Ghana Rugby’s application to become a Full Member of World Rugby is currently in the process of review and, should the application be successful, that it will help the development of Rugby in Ghana tremendously.
He also announced that the bid to host the World Rugby Africa Cup 1D – West 1 tournament between Benin, Ghana and Mali towards the end of April 2017 has been successful.
Mr Mensah reiterated that a successful hosting will have many benefits for Ghana, Ghana Rugby and corporate and other sponsors.
“It will provide an opportunity to showcase Ghana as the true beacon in Africa and to exceed global expectations in terms of Ghana as a progressive and extremely hospitable country with world-class people, abilities and facilities to host an international tournament of this nature as good, if not better, as anyone else can,” he said.
Mensah continued to say, “This World Rugby tournament provides an ideal opportunity for corporate and other sponsors and supporters to not only showcase their brands and products or services in Ghana, but to the whole West African Community and indeed to the world at large.”
He also said that, In order to reap these benefits, Ghana Rugby will need the support of Ghana – both government and corporate – in the form of both financial contributions, sponsorships and in-kind contributions.
eVerpure, a major water manufacturer and distributor in Ghana, sponsored the water for the Rugby Club Championship finals and Mr. Mensah expressed his gratitude for their support.
According to a spokesperson for eVerpure the company is in discussions for possible further involvement with Rugby in Ghana and details on that will be made known in due course.
Rugby Union is the second biggest sport in the world after football. The Rugby World Cup in 2015 enjoyed a global audience of 120 million plus viewers and more than 6.6 million players across 120 countries participate in rugby on a regular basis.
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