Nigeria’s women defeated Ghana 40-4 in the first match of their three-game series, the inaugural women’s senior internationals on the continent, at the CMS Grammar school in Lagos.
The hosts led 20-0 at the break, prop Abbah Chinasa with the opening two tries, and they ran in eight in total. Two of them were from distance, in the 43rd minute, Akinade Rukayat stealing the ball in contact and going 60 metres, and to round the victory off, Umude Blessing sprinting clear from a similar distance.
Nigeria captain, Jimoh Rukayat, said: “Participating in Africa’s inaugural female international rugby league test match filled me with immense excitement. Leading this team is truly an honour, every one of them made a contribution.
“Our victory is a testament to the team’s immense effort. Despite some errors during the game, emerging victorious is what truly matters. I commend the Ghanaian team for their resilience; they made our win hard-earned. Hats off to the coaching crew for their exceptional work and immense gratitude to the Nigerian RLA for believing in us.”
Centre Shiela Tettey claimed Ghana’s score just after the break from Belinda Ayele Khakuvie’s short pass, but the visitors conceded again in the next set, Iyoha Success chasing the kick off down to go over.
Ghana women’s head coach, Riddick Alibah, commented: “Generally we played well and we liked what we saw, we just need to work harder and improve, it is a building process. Kudos to Nigeria, they came in hard and strong and we expected that.
“They capitalised on our errors but, in all, it was a good game which sets us up for the next one and we appreciated how the day went. We will come back stronger and are excited at the prospects we have.”
The sides meet again at the same venue tomorrow (Sunday).
Blessing Aladegelu, Samson Godfirst, Bayere Lauretta, Innocent Adaeze, Umude Blessing, Mene Augusta, Nwankpa Chioma, Dseni Muinat, Akinade Rukayat, Abbah Chinaza, Aribidesi Barakat, Akhihiero Vera, Imoisi Abuoybo
Subs: Jimoh Rukayat, Iyoha Success, Ashagbesori Kafayat, Ykuoma Precious.
Tries: Chinasa (7, 15), Chioma (27), Vera (38), Rukayat (43), Success (48), Lauretta (64), Blessing (73)
Goals: Augusta 4/8
Fati Bhom , Shamsiya Tahiru, Millicent Njomaba, Sheila Tettey, Bernice Padiki, Rosemary Sewornu, Belinda Ayele Khakuvie, Fauzia Nurudeen Larry, Eunice Akiuni, Jennifer Moncar, Adiza Mohammed, Joyce Mamle, Marceline Ashie
Subs: Angela Yakubu Adjuik, Estelle Haizel, Mary Obena, Eunice Lakioe
Try: Tettey (46)
Goal: Kwakukie 0/1
Half time: 20-0
Referee: Marshal Nortey (Ghana)