After a three-year hiatus imposed by COVID-19 health restrictions, international rugby returned to the Garrison Savannah on Saturday, September 30, 2023.
On the hottest September day recorded in Barbados, St. Vincent and The Grenadines Men’s and Women’s Teams faced off against local men’s teams H1X1 Barbarians and JetBlues, and Bajan Pride Women at the Historic Garrison Savannah in the first-ever Island 7s Tournament. Long-time rugby player Daniel “Danniram” Ramsay brought this to reality, in his own words, “By asking some questions.” Together with Try Rugby Now, another local rugby support entity, he was able to connect with Dellon Durant of the SVG Rugby Union and make things happen.
The St. Vincent & The Grenadines Men faced off against the JetBlues in the first match under the blazing sun, before a large crowd of supporters and fans, at 12:15 pm. The JetBlues drew first blood, with a quick try and conversion less than five minutes into the match. The final score was 38-5 in favour of the local men, a trend that continued for the next two men’s matches.
The final scores do not reflect the energy and enthusiasm of the women in green, many of whom were playing their first full sevens match. Despite their inexperience, the SVG women showed great spirit and tenacity, never giving up, no matter the score.
The Men’s Pool provided some entertaining action as the JetBlues and Barbarians collided in the last of the pool matches. This was a very physical confrontation, with strong defence on both teams. The final score was 14-5 to the JetBlues. The first playoff match saw the SVG Men putting up a vigorous and speedy fight against the physical Barbarians. In the end, the home team dominated the visitors 27-7.
Rugby Barbados thanks the St. Vincent & the Grenadines Rugby Union for their participation and support and looks forward to more inter-island competitions in the future.
The discipline of rugby has been compared to a life lesson by Rugby Americas North President, Barbadian George Nicholson, because it teaches players how to handle opposition and how to act with integrity and fairness, no matter the circumstances.