By James Agberebi: Samurai Barracudas, an invitational selected team made up of players from South Africa, Kenya, Portugal and United Kingdom, have emerged winners of the 2017 Independence 7s Rugby tournament.
The tournament, the eighth edition, which started on Saturday, November 28, was held at the Lagos Polo Club, Ikoyi, Lagos.
In the final played on Sunday, Samurai Barracudas thrashed Nigerian champions and last year finalists Cowrie RFC 26 – 0.
In the Bowl Final also played on Sunday, Sabongari RFC trounced Wolves 14 – 0, and Delta Force RFC edged Nasarawa RFC 15 – 12 in the Plate Final.
In the girls category, Edo emerged victorious over their counterparts from Lagos 10-5.
For emerging the overall winners at this year’s edition, Samurai Barracudas were awarded with a trophy and a cash prize of N350,000.
Runners-up, Cowrie RFC were also presented with a trophy and a cash prize of N200,000.
Winners of the Plate Final Nasarawa got N150,000 and N100,000 went to winners of the Bowl Final Sabongari.
Meanwhile, the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, Samurai’s Leal Pedro, was presented with a cash prize of N150,000.
Speaking after the final, captain of Cowrie RFC Ono Jatto told Completesportsnigeria. com that inexperience cost them.
“I know the scoreline was more than last year but we actually player better than last year which shows that we are improving,” Jatto said.
“But I think at the end of the day their experience counted for them. They took their time and they wore us down.”
Jatto however stated that they have learnt a lot from the defeat which will be of help to them in the next edition.
He added: “We just need to keep working hard. We would have liked to win this game but there are lot of positives to take away from it and I’m hoping next year, we will give them a better game.”