Rugby League: Rhinos Get Off The Mark As Imperious Haven Stay Unbeaten

Lagos Rhinos registered their first win of the season in the Southern Conference of the 2020-21 Nigeria Rugby League after they rallied from a four point half-time deficit to defeat Eko Trinity at Eagles Square on Saturday.

Trinity, searching for their first win of the campaign, were aggressive from the off and led 12-8 at half time with Monday Henry’s penalty kick and try proving decisive after Malik Salihu and Azeez Olarenwaju had scored tries for Rhinos.

Rhinos who had a bye in week 2, were, however, much improved in the second period, preventing their opponents from making further tries as Mubarak Sidi stole the show and turned the tie around with three tries and one conversion.

Olatunde Sulaimon added one conversion and Alfred Oche weighed in with one try and one conversion as Rhinos secured a 30-12 victory.

The win lifts Rhinos off the bottom of the Southern Conference standings to second place with Trinity replacing them as the basement team after a second loss in two games.

Elsewhere, Lagos Haven maintained their one hundred per cent start to the season with yet another dominant and ruthless showing in a 50-18 destruction of a hapless Kings side at the Eagles Square arena.

After steamrollering Rhinos and Lagos Broncos by a combined 74-10 scoreline in their opening two fixtures, conference leaders Haven were even more brutal in dismantling their latest victims as they became the first team to notch half a century of points in a single game this season.

An utterly one-sided opening period ended 24-6 in favour of Haven and there was to be no let up in the second half despite a more spirited effort by Kings.

Kelvin Olisa scored three of Haven’s tries and added a conversion, Lateef Olamide and Akeem Yusuf scored two tries a piece while Leon Ahonso, captain Azuka Chika and Daniel John also joined in on the action with one try each with Precious John also completing three conversions.

Victor Osunleye and Kehinde Atere scored one try each for Kings and Izu Nwaire added three conversions in their losing effort.

Haven’s third straight win sees them extend their lead at the top of the Southern Conference by four points and they now have a perfect six points from three games.

Kings, meanwhile, drop one spot to third, after their points difference dropped from -2 to -34 after Saturday’s sobering encounter.

The 2021 Nigeria Rugby League champions will emerge from play-offs featuring the top two teams in the Southern and Northern Conferences.

There are currently five teams in the Southern Conference and four in the Northern Conference which is yet to kickoff.