The Rugby Africa Cup Repechage which kicked off on June 5 saw three competing teams: Burkina Faso, Burundi, and Cameroon, completing the round robin tournament yesterday at the Aout 4 stadium in Ouagadougou. The Stallions of Burkina Faso defeated the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon by 17 to 13 points.
After Ugandan referee Ms Saudah Adiru kicked off, the Stallions opened the scoring in the 11th minute with a try from No.8 Ali Papi Traore. But the conversion was missed. In the 16th minute, Burkina Faso were awarded a penalty courtesy of No.12 Adama Démé. This was followed with a penalty in the 25th minute by Cameroon’s No.10, Noël Touko.
Half-time came with a lead from the organizing country by a close score of 5 to 3. In the 3rd minute of the second half, Ousmane Tioro of the Stallions (No. 15) managed to score a try. The Burkinabè team stood out as a very offensive team in this competition. The Stallions scored other tries (such as in the 20’20 by Cheick Abass Sawadogo). In the 30th minute, Cameroon got a penalty. During this decisive match, Cameroon accumulated two yellow cards for No.8 Moctar Hassan (20’55) and Moïse Chimi (No.14) in the 18th minute of the 2nd half.
Burkina Faso triumphed over Cameroon by a score of 17-13 in front of a more electrified and larger crowd of supporters than in previous matches. “I think the victory is deserved and I wish the Burkina Faso team good luck for the future,” said tournament director Mostafa Jelti. The victory seemed to surprise many sports observers given the lead the Cameroonian fifteens had taken in this tournament.
“Playing abroad is not easy. We gave it our all and it didn’t work out. It’s a sport. We learned from our mistakes, “Indomitable Lions captain Justin Amougou said with fair play. According to Burkina Faso coach Cheikh Amidou Ouédraogo, morale, the youth of the players, aggressiveness in defence, speed in attacks, and discipline were Burkina Faso’s strengths in securing the victory.
This Rugby Africa Cup Repechage was hosted by the Burkinabè Rugby Federation (FBR). According to its president, Mrs Rolande Boro, the organization has been successful despite the COVID-19 pandemic. She mentioned that the organizational difficulties are mainly linked to poor infrastructure.
Cameroon’s resounding return to African and World Rugby bodies was not ultimately a success. The “country of upright men” will thus join the 12th place in Pool D of the Rugby Africa Cup which is scheduled to be held in Tunisia from July 9 to 17. This round will be played out with Zimbabwe and Tunisia.