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Black Stallions Struggle in First leg of Africa Cup Sevens Tournament

Nigeria’s senior national rugby team, the Black Stallions, faced significant challenges in the first round of the Africa Cup Sevens tournament.

Placed in a tough group with Kenya, Madagascar, and hosts Mauritius, and missing key players including their captain and co-captain Declan Nwachukwu and Olukolade Awobowale, as well as former captain Onoru Jatto and Olu Odunlami due to a bone bruise, the team struggled to find their footing.

The Black Stallions kicked off their campaign against Madagascar, losing 36-14 despite a spirited effort. In their second game, they faced one of Africa’s strongest rugby teams, Kenya, and lost 25-0. Their third match against hosts Mauritius ended in a 26-5 defeat.

In the 9th place semi-final, Nigeria defeated Tunisia 19-5 but eventually lost to Zambia 22-7 in the 9th/10th placement match.

Speaking after the first round, Nigeria Rugby Football Federation (NRFF) President Dr. Ademola Are assured that the Black Stallions would bounce back in the second leg of the tournament.

“We had some challenges that affected the team’s performance. Our captain and co-captain couldn’t make it due to injury, and other key players from the Olympic qualifiers were also unavailable, affecting the team’s chemistry. However, in the second leg, we hope to do better as there will be a better understanding among the players,” he concluded.

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