Guyana and Canada just too good at NACRA 7’s by Nick Jordan
Guyana have continued their dominance of men’s rugby sevens in the Caribbean with an emphatic 29-0 win over the Cayman Islands at the DHL NACRA Sevens in Barbados.
The win, the Guyanese’s sixth in succession, also booked them a trip to the IRB Hong Kong Sevens in 2012.
A blistering opening period saw Guyana burst out to 17-0 at halftime as they fed off the mistakes of the first-time finalists.
Ronald Mayers outflanked the defence to score the first, Kevin McKenzie bolted almost 60 metres for the second and captain Ryan Gonsalves put the result beyond doubt in the first seven minutes of the Cup final at the Garrison Savannah.
An opportune Claudius Butts added to the score soon after halftime when he raced 50 metres to score from a scrum and speedster Peabo Hamilton continued the rout with a try in the corner of the waterlogged pitch.
McKenzie said the team had been working hard and deserved their victory.
“We came back from the Pan-American Games with our heads down and we put together a side to come out and do the job,” said the Australia-bound McKenzie. “We have to keep working as we head into Hong Kong and hopefully produce results there.
“Cayman did well to get to the final and we gave them the respect as we know what they’re capable of. The scoreline didn’t show that Cayman spirit as they certainly played to the last minute,” he added.
Torrential rain marred the opening day but the sunshine returned on Day Two and saw some excellent rugby from the 26 teams – 15 men and 11 women.
Canada’s Maple Leafs were impressive throughout the women’s competition and racked up a 38-0 win in the final over Jamaica. Julia Greenshields scored three of the six tries in the decider as Canada swept to victory conceding only one try in seven matches.
The development squad pleased manager John Tait, the coach of the national team.
“The girls have done really well considering the conditions and particularly did a good job of maintaining possession and moving the ball around even though the rain really came down,” he said.
“We’ve brought an inexperienced sevens squad as we try to add another layer to our senior programme by getting some of the younger girls involved – we have a few 18-year olds and even a 16-year old with us so this weekend is all about introducing them to the concepts of preparation,playing and recovery that our senior players are used to.”
Mexico finished in third place in the men’s draw, beating Jamaica 7-0, and Trinidad & Tobago came from behind to beat USA South 14-10 to take third spot in the women’s.
Respective Plate winners were Trinidad & Tobago (19-5 over the Guadeloupe men) and Guyana (who had three tries from Andrea Lashley in their 26-0 win over St Lucia).
DHL & TeleBarbados worked together to provide live streaming of the tournament (www.dhlnacrasevens.com) and McKenzie, who heads to Australia to play rugby league, hopes the tournament and its related coverage will showcase his region.