The technical team of Ghana Rugby did not celebrate its victory of 36 points to 25 over the Botswana Vultures for too long but instead started to plot the roadmap to Harare in Zimbabwe with its President, Herbert Mensah, soon after the historic victory on 23 November 2019 in Elmina-Ghana.
After winning the crucial elimination match in the new format of the Rugby Africa Cup 2020 against Botswana, the team consisting of the President, Technical Director Collin Osborne and Head Coach Dallas Lovemore Kuzorera gathered in Accra on Sunday 25 November 2019 to discuss the strategy for its next challenges.
The Ghana Eagles have progressed to the Pool Stage of the 2020 Rugby Africa Cup where it will face Zimbabwe on 20 June 2020 in Harare-Zimbabwe, followed by a home match against Tunisia in Ghana on 4 July 2020.
Should Ghana manage to emerge as the winner of Pool D it will progress to the semi-finals of the newly structured Rugby Africa Cup for the men’s fifteens format of the game.
Ghana Rugby also improved its World Rugby Ranking by moving 3 places up the ladder from position 92 to position 89. Botswana, on the other hand, dropped five positions from 71 to 76.
In an interview after the match, Mensah said that the victory was not only a victory for Ghana Rugby but indeed a victory for Ghana.
“Ghana has once again shown its hospitality by not only organising free Visas for Botswana through the Ghana Olympic Committee but once again showed its ability to be a great guest while flying the Ghana flag high with a victory. This is the third time that we have hosted and won an international Rugby Africa tournament,” Mensah said.
Mensah also said that Ghana is not a rugby nation but that his and his team’s philosophy of the game is clear.
“Rugby is rugby and one needs to play the game within the structure of the rules and laws and within the constraints that you have fifteen opponents who are also desperate to win the match. We have developed a philosophy that is underpinned by the highest possible strength and conditioning, including fitness, of players combined with a solid defensive pattern and aggressive attacking style and will continue to hone our style of play along these lines,” he said.
Mr Lorry Li, Managing Director of Sunda Ghana, attended the match as a guest of honour and as a major contributor towards the costs of the tournament.
Mensah thanked Sunda International for its contribution towards the development of rugby in Ghana and said that the many achievements of Ghana Rugby in such a short span of time would not have been possible without the support of corporates such as Sunda International.
“We have a core group of companies including Sunda International, the Pan African Group with Komatsu, Interplast, Conserveria Africana with its Gino brands, Societe Generale Ghana and the Ghana Olympic Committee that have made it possible for Ghana Rugby to survive and thrive despite the absolute apathy of the government of Ghana and its sports ministry towards rugby and other minority sports,” Mensah said.
Ghana Rugby will again face major challenges to not only fund its domestic programmes but to also fund its international participation in Rugby Africa Programmes such as the Barthes U20 Cup, the men’s and women’s fifteens tournaments and the all-important Rugby Africa Cup in 2020.
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