Nigeria hold on to win second women's rugby league international against Ghana

Nigeria’s women defeated Ghana 14-6 in the second match of their three-game series, at the CMS Grammar school in Lagos. The hosts, who won the opening encounter 40-4, went into a ten-point lead in the opening 22 minutes, Bayere Laurette and Perpetua Nwanya with the tries, but soon after the complexion of the game changed when Nigeria fullback Aladegely Blessing was sent off for tripping Sheila Tettey on her way to a penalty try for the visitors.

The only score in the second half came nine minutes from time when Nigeria prop Abbah Chinaza powered her way past three defenders.

Nigeria women’s captain, Jimoh Rukayat, who played alongside sister Akinade, commented: “The performance was fantastic. We functioned cohesively as a team, understanding that the second game wouldn’t be as straightforward as the first, which is why we maintained our positive energy and momentum. We anticipate receiving invitations from other countries for more matches to further demonstrate our capabilities.”

Opposite number, Ghana’s Rosemary Sewornu, noted: “We did very well, we didn’t know how they played in the first match and most of our players were new to rugby league and it was a little tough for us. But we went back and did our homework and came back harder. I believe that we can do even better in our last game and I’m sure we can win it.”

The third match will be in Ghana, on December 9, at University of Ghana playing fields in Accra.

NIGERIA 14

Aladegely Blessing, Perpetua Nwanya, Bayaer Lauretta, Odey Ruth, Umude Blessing, Mene Augusta, Nwankpa Chioma, Adie Elizebeth, Akinade Rukayat, Abbah Chinaza, Aribidesi Barakat, Akhihtero Vera, Oseni Muinat

Subs: Jimoh Rukayat, Obi Stephanie, Ashagbesoro Kafayat, Iyoha Success

Tries: Laurette (15), Nwanya (22), Chinaza (71)

Goals: Augusta 1/3

GHANA 6

Belinda Kwakuvie, Eunice Lawoe, Shamsiya Tahiru, Millicent Njombed, Bernice Padiki, Eunice Awuni, Rosemary Sewornu, Nurudeen Larry, Gracelove Hammond, Estelle Haizel, Sheila Tettey, Joyce Moiwle, Marceline Ashie

Subs: Jennifer Moncar, Mary Obeng, Fati Bhom, Jacqueline Anash

Try: Tettey (27)

Goal: Tettey 1/1

Half time: 10-6

Referee: Marshall Nortey (Ghana)