It was a bright sunny day, filled with several sporting activities and their actors hunting and sweating for diadem at the Nigeria University Games Association organised games for University students at the prestigious University of Lagos.
Despite the flurry of events, a gentleman’s game with an oval ball nestled itself in for a show where 80 schools represented at the NUGA Games converged for the 11-day competition.
Interestingly, it would be during the half-time of the quarter-final football match between host Unilag and Olabisi Onabanjo University; a perfect spot for rugby demonstration.
With the arena prepared, Nigeria Falcons and All-Stars took to the field to demonstrate the game of rugby as some in the excited stands have only witnessed on television.
After much tumbles and runs on the Unilag field, Nigeria Falcons were able to edge the All-Stars 3-2 in a highly entertaining affair!
But beyond the result however, Rugby has definitely hit a huge Try as many became converts of the oval leather game.
Tubosun Johnson, the owner of Turbo Crest Sports who pulled all stops to achieve the rugby demonstration at the citadel confessed he was wowed by the turnout of event.
‘It was a sight to behold!’
He continued, ”the reaction of the crowd alone was a statement of approval to the NUGA Committee that rugby should be included as a scoring game in the next games” he boasted.
Johnson who organised a demonstration game at the Lagos State University, LASU late last year has been on this challenging course of reviving rugby in tertiary institutions as well as promoting the game far and beyond.
“It been a long the coming and about time that rugby in Nigeria reaches it full potential.” He said.
“African countries with lesser population than us, boast of being world title contenders. The only way Nigeria can get on the map is by harnessing the boundless talents in this great nation of ours. Rugby is contested for all over the world in numerous prestigious events, from the commonwealth, to the Olympics, the World Cup, be the Nation’s Cup, the World University Games, and even the African university games which will be hosted here in Lagos.”
Of course, it wasn’t a one-man affair as the he acknowledged the huge support from the leadership of the Nigeria Rugby Football Federation (NRFF) led by Dr Ademola Are, the players as well as other sponsors like; Mariteam can Ng ltd, Whassan ng ltd, Famboss Ng ltd, Swift Telecom, Nido sg chapter, Nigerian breweries, Eat n Go and the NUGA for making this feat a reality.
With the successful demonstration of rugby, the recording of events in the annals and in the minds of those who witnessed the show would definitely continue to echo rugby as one of the games which added some colours of delight to the 26th edition NUGA Games in years to come.