Barbados Rugby Season – Action & Results: Get Ready for Night Match on 26 Oct.

Recent heavy rains created a lush green pitch for the action at the Historic Garrison Savannah last weekend, when Emperors faced Renegades in the first match of the scheduled double-header.

Things got off to an enthusiastic start with Renegades danger man Aidon Rogers and the determined Tahir Niles put their team on the

Nick Daniel (Emperors) at right, charging towards the try line while Renegades attempt to block him.

board in the early stages. Brandon Walcott, the talented young kicker from the national U19 squad converted both tries with confident conversion kicks to take the score to 14-nil in favour of Renegades.

Undaunted, the Emperors responded in kind, showing their mettle, with a well-orchestrated try by Kareem Lashley, although Nick Daniel’s conversion attempt was no good. Moments later, Ramon “Juice” Downes, an experienced national seniors player, stormed through a porous Emperors defence to extend the Renegades’ lead to 19-5, again with a failed conversion attempt. The gusty winds may have had an adverse effect on that aspect of the game.

Che Gaskin (Emperors) in his trademark upright stance, battling for yardage.

Kenneth “Kaipee” Payne set up Juice’s next scoring attempt and took the Renegades’ lead to 24-5. Emperors captain, Jeren “Blinki” Clarke decided to lead by example and in his trademark bulldozer style, changed the momentum with a dramatic try. Nick Daniel’s drop kick conversion meant that the half time score was Emperors 12-24 Renegades.

As the Emperors would have it, that was the end of Renegades’ scoring! During a riotous second half, Emperors effectively shut down the opposing team with dogged determination and a stubborn refusal to let them score.

The second half belonged to the Emperors, scoring-wise. National U19 scrum half Mikyle Walcott got things going with a brilliant pass to U19 teammate Omar “Drogba” James, who in turned passed off to big Christian Preece, who simply overwhelmed the Renegades defence. The momentum never quite swung back to the Renegades, as the Emperors defence held rock solid, again due in large part to Preece, Daniel “Danny Ram” Ramsay and a rumbling, bruising try from Nick Daniel, who powered his way across the try line with two or three Renegades hanging on to him in a vain attempt to stop his progress.

The final score was 24-20 to the Renegades, as most of the Emperors’ kicks were no good. Still, it was a hard fought match and shows the rapid improvement of the youthful Emperors, easily the youngest team in the league, comprising many of the current U19 players.

All eyes are on the ball as the Dev Squad scrum half (centre frame, in red socks) gets in on the action.

The second match featured top of the table Scorpions against the Development Squad.

Somewhat surprisingly, considering the wealth of experience on the older Scorpion side, the Development Squad got on the board first, with a rapid fire sequence that ended with a try by Biko Beckles. The conversion was no good, Development went up 5-0. Biko decided to do it a gain a short time later, and this time the kick was good: 12-0 to Dev Squad!

Caston Howard’s return after the restart was nothing short of brilliant, but Scorp’s Denniston Shepherd managed to score a brilliant try, and the ensuing kick from Stuart Copeland took the score to 12-7. Shortly thereafter, national squad speedster Sean Ward, again working in tandem with Stu Copeland, put the Scorpions firmly in control at 14-12 half time score.

Rugby Development Officer Dennis Hargreaves (backing camera) closely observes the Development Squad players in the line out. (Scorpions in blue, Dev Squad in yellow)

As the light failed, the Development Squad found themselves on the defensive, as the defending league champions applied pressure relentlessly. Despite some bruising encounters and numerous line outs, the full time score was the same, with the Scorpions narrowly defeating their feisty opponents.

The next game will be a night fixture for Friday 26 October with kick off scheduled for 7:00 pm under the lights.

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