Bajan U19 Rugby Squad returns from NACRA 2013
A very young and inexperienced Barbados squad took part in the recently concluded NACRA (North America Caribbean Rugby Association) U19 2013 Championship in Trinidad and Tobago. The Bajan lads left home on Sunday 7 July, and returned on July 14, having won two of their three matches in the contest.
During the second half, U19 veteran Kofi Chase scored a try for the Bajans, and UK-based Conrad Edgar scored two more, giving us a glimmer of hope and pulling the score back to 26-20 with three minutes left on the clock. Alas, it was too little too late, and the game ended 33-20 to Mexico, after a bruising second half, that earned the respect of both opponents and officials.
Despite the final score, team captain Kean Blackman expressed a certain satisfaction with the attitude displayed by the squad and was quick to praise the efforts of novice Dario Howard, who made a vital tackle in the second half, and vowed to do better in their next outing.
Despite the sheer physical and mental toughness displayed by the Bajans, these results were only good enough to contest for 5th place and avoid relegation. In this final match, the Bajan Young Lions came out roaring against rivals Bermuda on Saturday July 13 at the Hasley Crawford Stadium. Brandon Walcott’s successful penalty kicks had the score at 9-0 to the Bajans early in the first half, before Bermuda managed to mount any opposition. Kofi Chase and Conrad Edgar scored tries to make the half-time numbers 23-12. Things got tougher in the second half with two unanswered tries and conversions from Bermuda took the score to 23-26 in their favour. However, displaying the never-give-up attitude that characterized this squad, David Burke came through with the game-winner, assisted by the conversion from Brandon Walcott, so that the final whistle blew on a score of 30-26 to Bim!
Outstanding players included Conrad Edgar, David Burke, Shane Howard, and Kofi Chase.
Barbadians have the opportunity to see many of these young men in action at the Garrison on Tuesday, July 23, as they play a “friendly” match against the visiting school side, Ysgol Bro Gwaun, from Wales. In their first encounter last Saturday, the two teams started slowly but wound up with a slugfest Barbados 45-32 Ysgol Bro Gwaun. Tomorrow’s match should be just as intense, with kick-off at 4:00pm.