The 2015 edition of the North America Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) under 19 tournament got underway in Orlando, Florida with defending champions Mexico dishing out a merciless 29-8 drubbing to newcomers USA South B.
The second match featured number 2 seeds Barbados facing Turks & Caicos who have just been promoted to the top tiers. Things started off a bit slowly, with the Bajan Rugby Boyz drawing first blood with a try from Jake Caddy, which his twin brother Iestyn failed to convert.
Turks & Caicos fired back with a try and a successful conversion to take a 7-5 lead in the first half. The action seesawed across the pitch with both teams struggling to maintain possession and get the ball across the try line for more points. TCI effectively shut down the Bajan offence on a number of occasions and things were looking a bit grim when key Bajan player Ellis Pinder-Young was given a yellow card for a high tackle. No warning was given, just a straight yellow for the first offence, a policy that is somewhat different from previous competitions. If not for some fine defensive work by Jake Caddy, Nickolie Bonnett and Shane Howard, TCI would have taken a much greater lead.
Barbados opened the second half with a try by veteran Nick Daniel, which was followed by a penalty try from Darien “Duckhead” Walcott, giving Barbados a lead of 29-7. TCI changed their tactics and to the up & under (Garryowen) which gave Barbados a little trouble but the Bajans returned the ball downfield for Nick Daniel to score his second converted try.
Unfortunately, Daniel was subsequently given a yellow card, courtesy of the “No tolerance” ruling on high tackles, and was therefore denied any real chance at a hat trick.
However, his absence did not unduly affect his team-mates as just before the final whistle Nickolie Bonnett picked up a loose ball and ploughed through for a try wide out converted by Jake Caddy.
Barbados try scorers: Jake Caddy, Darien Walcott (1 + penalty), Nick Daniel (2), Nickolie Bonnett.