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Rugby League: stage set for Potential Lions, Haven National Finals in Kano

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General view of rugby balls on the pitch inside the stadium before the match REUTERS/Toby Melville

All is now set for the 2021 Nigerian Rugby League Season as four teams are billed to play in the Playoff finals to determine the winner of the entire season.

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Winner of the Southern Conference League Lagos Haven are looking forward to playing Second Place of the Northern Conference League, Kano Gazelles while Northern Conference League Champion and Kano Lions will be paying Lagos Rhinos who are second in the Southern Conference League.

Both teams will play at the Kano Race Course in Kano State on Thursday 19th and Saturday 21st, 2021.
Speaking with Kano Lions Team Captain, Nuhu Ibrahim, he stated that he is confident that his team can win the Nigeria Rugby League Finals.

“I am confident that my team can win the NRLA finals in Kano going by their recent form in the league this season.”
Kano Lions winger, Jude Abrakson reiterated playing at home will play a major role for them in the forthcoming finals, he also said his team are prepared and geared up to win the cup again this season.

Speaking with the Captain, Lagos Haven, Champions of the Southern Conference League, Azuka Chika, he said that the feeling for him and his teammate is becoming the winner in the Southern Conference.”

“It’s a wonderful feeling for me and my team, being the winner of the Southern Conference League of 2020/2021. Of course it was not easy playing against teams like, Lagos Rhinos, Lagos kings, and especially our arch rival Lagos Trinity. We showed class and entertained the spectators with skills from our teams.”

“Our preparation was worth it, sacrifice from the players, coach and the management of Lagos haven wasn’t a waste of time. Take a look at where we are today, heading to north for the semifinals and final of the Conference League Final game. We will be facing Kano gazelle and hopefully knocking heads once again with Kano Lions or Lagos Rhinos in the final.”

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“We have done our homework, the management, the team and every staff are behind us, this time, and we will bring back the cup to Lagos Haven.”

Manager Lagos Haven, General Manager NRLA for youth Development Coach Samson Okeowo said his players has been working so hard to achieve and retain the top spot in the Southern Conference

“Firstly, I give all Glory to Almighty God for given another grace to defend and remain south conference league unbeatable champions. So good so far the players had been working so hard with the support of the Club Management to get to this stage and also to the national grand semifinals and final.

Our major aim is get to the final and wins the championship trophy back home. I know it is going to be a tough game out there in Kano because the teams in Kano both Kano Lions and Kano Gazelles are also great clubs because they have skillful players and this is going to be fun as well for us. This season is Lagos Haven Season all the ways
Team manager, Kano Lions, Umar Bau stated that he is confident of a Victory but he says his team will take each game at a time.

He said his team can go all out to win the trophy this year. He also added that the team is better than they were in 2019 and he is anticipating an exciting tournament in Kano
Captain Kano Gazzelles, Yarima John mentioned that his team major target is to get to the finals
“My team’s major target is to get to the finals and they would do their best to win their semifinal game and hopefully win the trophy come Saturday. He also added that despite finishing second in the Northern Conference League they have all it takes to defeat Lagos heavens in the semis.”

Captain Lagos Rhinos RLFC Kolawole Quadri Afolabi noted that going to Kano for the national finals is a big challenge for us.

“Firstly I’ll thank almighty God for giving us the grace to get to where we are today because it has not been easy for us from the start, we’ve struggled and fight a lot for what we want and what we deserve which is the second position on the table.

Going to Kano for the national finals is a very big challenge and we all in the team have been looking up for this opportunity. I’m so much excited about the trip. I’ll want to appreciate the management of NRLA for making it happen. Going to Kano is a big challenge and we hope for the best out there, we hope for victory which we truly know we’ll get it with the support of God and my team mates. We are Rhinos and we’re fearless.

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TEAM LIST:
KANO GAZELLES
1- Yarima John
2- David Noma
3, Yusuf Abdullah
4- Augustin Anthony
5- Joseph Rockson
6- Aminu Bashir
7- Abraham Linus
8- Samuel Sam
9- Ahmed Tijani
10- Umar faruk
11- Umar muktar
12- Seguin Victor
13- Mohamed
14- Sadam Abubakar
15- Abdul Abdulsalam.
16- Ezra Thomas
17- Chidera Nicholas
18- Nura lawan Umar
19- Saifullahi Abdullahi
20- Ibrahim dauda
21- Aminu sabo
22- Nura Ahmed
Coach: Obi Wilson.
Team Manager: Simon Baro.

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LAGOS RHINOS RLFC
1. Kolawole Quadri
2. Abdulmalik Salihu
3. Samson Yahaya
4. Joshua Ranking
5. Olatunde Sulaimon
6. Aare Sunny
7. Isiaka Habeeb
8. Adebayo Tobi
9. Shakirudeen Aminu
10. Nwanbunneze Dozie
11. Clinton Emmanuel
12. Mubarak Abiodun (Den den)
13. Aniede George
14. David Olamide
15. Haruna Francis
16. Kikenme Endurance
17. Shedrack kalu
18. Eguzo chamberlain
19. Micheal Sunday
20. Atere Kenny

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KANO LIONS
1. NUHUN IBRAHIM
2. GABRIEL JOHN
3. IBRAHIM UMAR
4. ALEX ONOME
5. BASHIR ONIMIS
6. ISAH ABDULMALIK
7. JUDE ABRAKSON
8. CHRISTIAN WILLIAMS
9. WISDOM UKANDU
10. BUHARI UMAR
11. GODWIN EGBESHI
12. UMAR AHMAD
13. SANI AHMAD
14. ZARADEEN INUWA
15. SAMUEL AKPABIO
16. AHMAD YAKUBU
17. MATTHEW UBONG
18. OBI IZUCHUKWU
19. JERRY PETER
20. PRINCE SAM
21. EMMA AGWU
22. MANASEH BABUGA

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LAGOS HAVEN
1. KIKI STEPHEN
2. DANIEL JOHN
3. OLISA KELVIN
4. LEON AHONSO
5. EZEKIEL TOM
6. LATEEF OLAMIDE
7. KINGSLEY OKOLIE
8. KAREEM QUADRI
9. JOHN SYLVANUS
10. AZUKA KELVIN
11. YANNICK MUKORO
12. OBIYELE MAYOWA
13. AKINWUNMI AKANDE
14. FELIX SALAMI
15. AKEEM YUSUF
16. YAHAYA OSMAN
17. MUBARAK SIDI
18. AUSTIN THOMAS
19. OKPOWO KELVIN
20. ALFRES JASON
21. FAWAS OSENI

SEMI FINALS:
LAGOS HAVEN vs KANO GAZELLE
KANO LIONS vs. LAGOS RHINOS

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