Barbados loses first NACRA match to Guyana

The senior men’s rugby team from Guyana asserted their dominance over hosts Barbados from the beginning of their important NACRA match on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at the Historic Garrison Savannah.

A little less than 10 minutes into the fixture, Guyana's Richard Staglon put them on the scoreboard with a deceptively easy-looking try. The conversion attempt failed, but undaunted the South Americans made it over the Bajan try line within 10 minutes, as Rondel McArthur took advantage of ball-handling errors on the part of the host team.  This time, Ryan Gonsalves kick was good, taking the men in green to 12-0. Theodore Henry and Gonsalves teamed up again to take to the score to 19-0, as the Bajan men seemed unable to mount a sturdy defence, spending far too much time inside their own 22.

A little less than 10 minutes into the fixture, Guyana’s Richard Staglon put them on the scoreboard with a deceptively easy-looking try. The conversion attempt failed, but undaunted the South Americans made it over the Bajan try line within 10 minutes, as Rondel McArthur took advantage of ball-handling errors on the part of the host team. This time, Ryan Gonsalves kick was good, taking the men in green to 12-0. Theodore Henry and Gonsalves teamed up again to take to the score to 19-0, as the Bajan men seemed unable to mount a sturdy defence, spending far too much time inside their own 22.

Finally able to take advantage of a Guyana error, Barbados’ Sean Ward was able to fend off opponents and put some points up for Barbados, with Kevin Carter’s kick moving the numbers to 19-7 seconds before the end of the first half.

After the break, Guyana regained the momentum with rapid fire tries from veteran Claudius Butts, Avery Corbin and Carl Lewis, while Barbados’ ball-handling woes continued. With the scoreboard reading 34-7, things were looking extremely bleak for the local team. A drastic change in tactics saw the Bajans create a hugely successful driving maul through sheer pack weight and dogged determination. Big Raj Edwards eventually battled his way to the try line and Kevin Carter’s kick made it 34-14. Undeterred, Guyana’s Carl Lewis, Clayd Prowell (tries) and Ryan Gonsalves (conversions) kept the pressure on.

Staring defeat in the face, Barbados continued to press in the rucks and mauls, easily overpowering their smaller, lighter opponents, and getting close to the tryline: banging on the door but unable to make those last few metres or centimetres. In the dying moments of the match, Stephen Millar managed to get his first try of the night, while Kevin Carter's kick was off target. Final score Guyana 48 - 19 Barbados.

Staring defeat in the face, Barbados continued to press in the rucks and mauls, easily overpowering their smaller, lighter opponents, and getting close to the tryline: banging on the door but unable to make those last few metres or centimetres. In the dying moments of the match, Stephen Millar managed to get his first try of the night, while Kevin Carter’s kick was off target. Final score Guyana 48 – 19 Barbados.

The score does not give a true picture of all the action. The Bajans kept their heads up, despite the often daunting prowess of their opponents, but a comparison of the two sides reveals a gap in fitness levels and skills. The Bajans were unable to get their usual speed game going, and mistakes (knock-ons, forward passes) checked their momentum at the most inopportune times. Still, the spectators enjoyed an exciting and action-packed match.

Barbados will travel to Trinidad for their next fixture on May 24.

In related news, the BRFU is pleased to announce that Intimate Hotels of Barbados have come on board as sponsors of the Barbados Rugby Sevens as they take part in the UK Summer Sevens for 2014, starting with the upcoming Midland Sevens at Sutton Coldfiled RFC in England. This is a crucial part of Barbados’ preparation for their historic participation in the Commonwealth Games this summer in Glasgow, Scotland. Already this year, the Barbados Rugby Sevens have taken part in this prestigious Hong Kong Sevens, proudly representing brand Barbados.

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