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Home > News > Tabard 14 - London Nigerian 39
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Your News Tabard 14 - London Nigerian 39
21
APR

London Nigerians rounded off the disappointing season 2007/2008 with a comprehensive away victory against Tabard. The White City outfit still reeling from snatching relegation from the jaws of survival against Ruislip the week before, produced a disciplined and dominant performance against a spirited but poor Tabard side.

Small rewarded early Nigerian pressure by scoring with a penalty kick for persistent Tabard infringements to make it 3-0. Nigerian followed up this early pressure with an inevitable score from Olufunwa. The Nigerian line out, under the joint command of El-Marazki and Ijeoma provided the Nigerian backline with some clean ball on the Tabard 10 metre line. This clean ball set the platform for Olufunwa to cut across the drift on a ‘wrangee’ to touchdown to the left of the uprights. Small narrowly missed the conversion.

Further excellent build up play between the forwards and the backs paid dividends for Ali Shelleng to sprint in for Nigerian’s second try. Small converted to take the scores up to 15-0.

A number of missed tackles by the Nigerians led to a break way by the Tabard centre. Despite a valiant and potentially try saving tackle by Obuaya, the Tabard support runners were simply quicker to the breakdown than the Nigerians, therefore leading to a simple score. The converted try left the scores at 15-7 and left the Nigerian supporters wandering whether they would be witnessing another Nigerian second half collapse. Nigerian’s response was swift. A passage of hard running and good continuity opened up space for Ekeowa to release Olufunwa in the left hand corner for his second try. This critical score settled the nerves of both the Nigerian players and supporters.

The second half was a scrappy affair with both sides showing plenty of endeavour but very little continuity. Tabard carried the ball into the Nigerian pack time after time, and the Nigerian pack repelled any attempts with aggressive defence led by Ahukanna and Thompson. It was amidst this arm wrestling that Olufunwa decided to carry on where he had left off in the first half. A step of his right on the half way line took him through the paper thin Tabard defence leaving him one against three with the Tabard back three. The result of this dispute was inevitable. Small converted.

Further abrasive running from Ijeoma and Omokohodion opened space for first A Shelleng and second Obiekwe to profit from Small’s intelligent offloads.

Despite the late consolation score from Tabard to make the scores 39-14, there was no doubt that Nigerian were a different class to Tabard on the day.

The Nigerian line out, so often the Go-To play for the opposition, is now more consistent. The Nigerian pack as a whole displayed a hunger and directness which provided plenty of space for their gifted half back pairing to dictate proceedings.

If Nigerian can keep the majority of this side together, and bring in newer players over the summer to bolster their small squad, there is no reason why their supporters cannot be treated to further cameo appearances of the popular Nigerian full back trading blows with opposition wingers in London Division 2 in season 2009/2010.

Author: Winston Bell-Gam

1. Osahon Omokhodion

2. Hisham El-Marazki

3. Robin Budhathoki (r: Hanlon ht)

4. Anthony Obiekwe

5. Chima Ijeoma

6. Akin Olugbade

7. Maynard Ahukanna

8. Olumide Thompson

9. Remi Williams

10. Richard Small

11. IK Iroche (r: I Shelleng, 20mins)

12. Ali Shelleng

13. Wole Olufunwa (C)

14. Chichi Obuaya

15. Ugo Ekeowa

16. Steve Hanlon

17. Osondu Anodu

18. Ibi Shelleng

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