By Amaechi Agbo
The Blitzboks of South Africa have ended Nigeria’s Black Stallions’ hope of qualifying for the first ever Rugby event of the Olympics next year
The Blitzboks defeated Black Stallions 27-0 to put an end to the hope of Nigeria causing an upset at African Rugby Sevens Olympic qualifiers in Harare, Zimbabwe.
The Blitzboks later went on to beat Uganda in semifinal 26 – 14 before eventually losing to Kenya 17-12 in the final .
Meanwhile, in the 5th place classification game against Zambia, Black Stallions capitulated to firing power of the opponents receiving a 28 -13 defeat
In the seventh place classification game, Nigeria gave it all against Madagascar but eventually crumbled 47 -18 to finish eight and moved three places to 8th on the current Africa Rugby Sevens ranking.
Speaking about Nigeria’s failure to pick an Olympic ticket, President of Nigeria Rugby Football Federation, NRFF, Dr Ademola Are said it’s not all gloomy and dark for the team adding that there are positives to take away from the competition
“We are taking some positives away from this tournament though not what we expected but we are not disappointed because the boys gave their all and it also offers us opportunity to popularise Rugby in Nigeria’
“We will definitely be back and our target is to qualify for the next Rugby World Cup and 2028 Olympics. With the foundation we have here and opportunity to turn the heads of other Nigerians abroad backed with strong league, I think that is achievable,”
Dr Are noted that the federation will invest in grassroots rugby, establish a rugby league as well a university rugby as part of their future plans.
”We know what we are going to do, investment in grassroots rugby, a rugby league and a university league is part of our plans going forward.”