In stifling heat, Nigeria’s women completed a 3-0 series victory over Ghana with a 30-20 success at the University of Accra Mensah Sarbah Field in Legon, in the first senior rugby league international of the calendar year.
The hosts led narrowly at the break but tries from Abbah Chinuza and Akhihiero Pedro in a six minute spell around the hour mark set the visitors on their way to victory, hooker Akinede Rukayat posting a try double.
Nigeria women’s head coach, Samson Okeowo, said: “”It has been a great privilege to be a part of this occasion, both teams performed fantastically and Ghana have really stepped up after our games in Nigeria. Our Green Falcons were excellent and it shows that the future of women’s rugby league in the MEA region is bright.”
His captain, Jimoh Rukayat – who came off the bench – added: “We knew this game was going to be tough and indeed it was, but my girls stood up to the challenge well. The support we have had from our coaches and management has been superb and we look now to take this forward to the World Cup qualifiers.”
Ghana opened the scoring with the best try of the game, winger Cynthia Anafo sprinting clear from 50 metres out.
“It was a great game and you could see our improvement, especially in attack,” commented Ghana women’s head coach, Riddick Alibah. “We are excited about our prospects and, technically, the girls are making progress. We keep putting in the work and we can see their understanding getting better, there is much more to learn but they played their hearts out, it was a great day organization-wise.”