JetBlues dominate H1X1 Barbarians in Rugby 7s
Under brilliant blue skies punctuated by puffy clouds, local rugby 7s teams JetBlues and H1X1 Barbarians kicked off the “best of three” mini-tournament qualifier for the upcoming Rugby Barbados World 7s in December at Kensington Oval. Ongoing horse-racing was no distraction for the enthusiastic rugby supporters: all eyes were on the rugby pitch action.
Match 1 was surprisingly one-sided, with the JetBlues scoring mere minutes into the game. Deandre Phillips scored the first try, but his conversion attempt was unsuccessful. His teammates Kris Carrington, Enrique Oxley and Dario Stoute boosted their team’s lead with tries. Phillips was able to convert two of these, leading to a half-time score of 26-0 to the JetBlues.
Handling errors and some apparent miscommunications did not aid the Barbarians’ cause. They tackled with enthusiasm but were unable to make good on their time of possession. Most of the first half was spent in their territory, and their defence was simply unable to cope.
Match 2 started off with Dario Stoute (JetBlues) literally running away with the ball seconds after kickoff, and carrying it all the way for five points (try). Phillips’ kick was good and the JetBlues were off to the races (pun intended). Several breakdowns due to sloppy play and repeated infractions lead to a yellow card for Sean Ward of the JetBlues. Some ingenious footwork by Barbarian Darien Walcott lead to his team’s first score of the afternoon.
Match 3 was played, although the JetBlues had easily outscored the Barbarians and were now the official representatives of Barbados at the upcoming Rugby Barbados World 7s. Nickolie Bonnett drew first blood for the JetBlues, while Phillips, Ward and Stoute poured on more points. In the last seconds of what was a mere formality of a match, Nico Blunt evaded tackles to score the only try for the Barbarians. Final score: 26-5 in favour of the JetBlues.
Despite the lopsided scores, the H1X1 Barbarians displayed some blinding speed and agility that bodes well for the future of Bajan rugby. Those watching from the sidelines included some youthful players who are anxiously awaiting their turn and determined to make next year’s teams. The 2019 Rugby Barbados World 7s is the latest edition of the longest running Club Rugby Sevens tournament in the Western Hemisphere.
Top level international men’s and women’s club teams are expected to participate on December 13 & 14, 2019 at the iconic Kensington Oval. Tickets are already on sale via TicketPalCaribbean.com