It was celebration galore as Idia College and Iyekogba Grammar School emerged champions at the 3rd Ehibam Schools Rugby Tournament held at the Home of Rugby’, Edo Boys High School on Thursday, December 1st, 2022.
The 3rd edition of the premier schools rugby tournament in Benin City was powered by Ehibam Griefshare Foundation, and it featured eight invited schools comprised of four boys and four girls respectively.
They were Edo Boys High School; Iyekogba Secondary School; Asoro Grammar School, and Ihogbe Secondary School in the boys category, while Idia College, Emotan College, St Maria Gorethi, and Adesuwa Grammar School featured in the girls event.
At the end of the event, Idia College Rugby Team successfully retained the trophy won in the girls category with a maximum nine points by defeating three other teams, while Emotan College recorded six points to place second. In third position was the newcomer, St Maria Goretti with one point while another newcomer, Adesuwa Grammar School came fourth with a point too.
Similarly, Iyekogba Grammar School emerged champions in the boys category with nine points. Host, Edo Boys came second with six points while Asoro Grammar School placed third with one point as they drew one and lost two games. Iyogbe Secondary School came fourth with one point as well, but with less game point
Moreover, in the individual awards, Daniel Ehijeme of Iyekogba won the Clitering Highest Try Scorer Award with three Trys, while Prosper Imonidhe of Iyogbe College Junior won the Most Valuable Player Award.
Also, Becky Okitipi scored six brilliant Trys to emerge the Highest Try Scorer of the girls tourney while Gift Uduku Of Emotan College was adjudged as the Most Valuable Player.
Meanwhile, Becky eventually won the tournament’s overall MVP with a surprise special award by a national team player, Mr Monday Alex.
The organiser of the event, Mr. Ntiense Williams in a chat with sports writers expressed his delight to have seen the type of energy and spirit exhibited at this year’s tournament, noting that these students have a very good understanding and judgement of the beautiful game of rugby.
Williams popularly called ‘Mr Rugby’ in Nigeria said: “These are future players for the upcoming National Youth Games which Edo State Rugby Girls Team ia a two time gold medalist”
“Unfortunately some of them played barefooted to show their passion because they couldn’t afford rugby boots.”
Similarly, the initiator of the program and the Foundation’s representative, Pastor Modupeola Irele said: “We are once again very happy to be back for the 3rd Ehibam’s Schools Rugby Tournament in 2022. It was launched in 2018 to encourage the sport of rugby among the young boys and girls from both primary and secondary schools in Edo State.
“The wind behind the sail of the foundation is Late Ehisieme Alonge who was an ardent rugby player in the United Kingdom, who spent a lot of time nurturing the young children in the beautiful game of rugby.
“The foundation, with the push of the Edo State Head Coach and workaholic popularly known as “Mr Rugby” Ntiense Williams and his hardworking team of coaches this year staged a superb invitational four female and four male teams tournament as a way to revive the tournament after the pandemic.
“We are also happy that the tournament was fantastic, enjoyable, and injury free which caught the attention of majority of the host Edo Boys High School pupils and others who thronged the venue in droves.
“We are seriously looking forward to the 4th edition next year with more pump and pageantry and with the prospect of more sponsorship and most likely making it a national tournament in the nearest future.
“Our sincere appreciation goes to the sponsors Ehibam Griefshare Foundation who have kept faith with us and the Edo State Sports Commission for endorsing the program and encouraging rugby in the state, being one of the outstanding sports association that has always made the state proud in all it’s outings.”
However, the event was graced by the Principal, Edo Boys Senior School, Mr Okhonina O. alongside his Games Masters, Mr Akinfolarin M Lumide of the senior school and Mr Ifada Emhonsa of the junior school respectively.
Other dignitaries present included a rugby ardent follower, Mr. Ekpen and Mr Anthony Chukwuemeka, who also represented the Ehibam Griefshare Foundation and made a pleasant lunch for all the players.