A friendly international match organised by the Ghana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) has seen the Ghana Eagles victorious over their neighbouring counterparts, Togo, on Sunday 4th of September, 2016 at the Accra Sports Stadium.
The Togolese, who defeated Ghana at the West African Seven’s tournament held in Togo, has seen their side trailing by a slim margin after they were beaten by 10 points to 5 at the Accra Sports Stadium.
The two countries who happen to be among the best in West Africa gave each other a hard time with quality Rugby.
According to Mr Simba Mangena, coach of the Ghana Eagles, his side had a difficult time to win the game because they lost concentration after the first 10 minutes of the game. The changed schedule from Niger to Togo meant both a change in tactics and the unfortunate loss of key man Dan Hoppe.
Mr Mangena mentioned that there is room for improvement and that the team will work hard on the errors committed in order to enhance their style of play. He recognised that it was part of a learning curve and that no excuses should be made
He therefore congratulated both teams for the quality rugby displayed to make the game an exciting one.
Speaking to the press, OURO-KOUMONI Mahawiya, coach of Togo, disclosed that despite their loss they really enjoyed the game, adding that he would have been much happier if they had won the match.
Herbert Mensah, the President of the Ghana Rugby Football Union (GRFU), said that Rugby indeed emerged as the winner.
Mensah said he was obviously delighted that Ghana managed to scrape through in the last minutes to emerge as winner, but that it was indeed Rugby in West Africa that walked away with the laurels.
To the players and coaching teams of both Ghana and Togo he said that they did well for working so hard to entertain everybody.
The two Presidents, Herbert Mensah (Ghana) and Modeste Akossan (Togo) started talking about WARS (West Africa Rugby Series) with Mr Edward Pam Fom (Nigeria) as far back as World Rugby Cup 2015 and according to Mensah this match was a precursor of exciting developments to come.
Mr Mensah also paid tribute to Charles Yapo (Africa Rugby Development Officer – West) and Coralie van den Berg (Africa Rugby Operations Manager) who ensured that the match was played within the Rules and Regulations of World Rugby Regulations.
Originally Ghana was scheduled to play Niger and when they pulled out at the last moment, the Togo Rugby Union saved the day by sending a team on very short notice.
The match officials for the match were made up of the match referee Mr Ignace NDRI (Ivory Coast), who was initially turned back at the Ghana border when the news of Niger’s default broke, just to be summoned back and Ghanaian Ishmael Adamah, Benson Botwey and Rob Oram.
Mr Mensah also said that a special word of thanks must go to the people who worked tirelessly to tie up all the loose ends here in Ghana – Ernest Hansen (Vice President Ghana Rugby) Steve Noi (GRFU Board Member and Tournament Commissioner), Abdul-Aziz Issah (GARA President and GRFU Board Member)and Bismark Amponsah (General Secretary of both the GRFU and CentWest) who was assisted by Thompson Nortey who did his thing in the background.
The issue of funding was once again raised and Mr Mensah said that some people who pulled out all stops to help fund the match must be mentioned such as the GRFU Vice President, Ernest Hanson, who led by example and raised a substantial amount.
The Ghana Rugby Regional Associations, GARA and CentWest, also launched a special appeal to their members and those who stood up to be counted included Accra Rugby Club, Conquerors RFC, Dansoman Hurricanes RFC, Griffons RFC, Ghana Ladies Rugby and Omar Captan, GARA PRO, in his personal capacity.
David Cudjoe, Ghana Rugby
NOTE TO THE MEDIA
Pictures – more images can be downloaded from the Ghana Rugby Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.1233751513350852&type=1
Interview and Videos
A wide variety of videos and interviews are available from the Ghana Rugby YouTube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCq3eyvv0ptrlc9yCE8TtW1g) including:
Herbert Mensah (GRFU President) on Ghana vs Togo Match
Simba Mangena, Ghana Coach, On Ghana vs Togo Match
Togolese Captain, ADJOLA Yom Baoubadi, on Ghana vs Togo Match
Michael Ako Wilson (Ghana Captain) on Togo Match
Match Referee (Ignace NDRI – Ivory Coast) On Ghana vs Togo Match
OURO-KOUMONI Mahawiya, Togo Coach, On The Match Against Ghana
The Ghana Haka – Know becoming famous?
The Togo WAR cry…
John Dumelo wishing the Ghana Eagles well!