Guyana make NACRA final after beating B/dos
By Rawle Welch
What more is required of national rugby squad?
That probably was one of the questions on everybody’s mind as they departed the National Stadium after witnessing Guyana demolish Barbados 20-7 to make it to the final of the NACRA 15’s Championship where they will meet Bermuda on a date and venue to be announced later.
The NACRA and CAC 7’s champions converted their class to the standard version of the game with another convincing performance this time against Barbados to establish themselves once again as one of the premier teams in both versions of the game in the Caribbean.
The homesters took the lead in the 6th minute of play through wing forward Avery Corbin, who evaded a couple of tackles to finish over the tryline.
The conversion taken by Ryan Gonsalves was missed, but he returned six minutes later to increase Guyana’s advantage, sweeping past two defenders to end over the backline as the hosts led 10-0 after Ryan Hinckson muffed the conversion.
Barbados then took full advantage of a rare opportunity to score with Shawn Ward weaving past a host of tackles to finish over the tryline.
Murray Dow successfully converted as they trailed 7-10.
Undaunted by the Bajans challenge, Guyana stretched their lead further when Gonsalves netted a penalty to give them 13-7 ascendancy.
The inspirational Kevin McKenzie then took over, feinting and weaving past a horde of markers, before ending over the tryline as Guyana’s advantage increased.
Gonsalves this time was accurate with his kick which
gave Guyana two more vital points for a 20-7 lead at the break.
In the second period, it was the hosts trying to protect its lead, while the Bajans failed to breach the airtight Guyanese defence and no more points were scored effectively handing Guyana a well deserved win.
Speaking after the game, Head Coach Theodore Henry said that as much as he was happy with the win, he was a bit dissatisfied with the play in the second period.
He pointed out there were a lot of drop balls in the second half and that he attributed to players seeking individual glory in front of the home fans.
He, however, conceded that that is expected at times, but called on the culpable players to maintain focus at all times since the game is not over until the final whistle.
Questioned on his feeling about winning in front of the home fans, Henry said that he is basking in the moment and going from strength to strength.
He added that Guyana’s current success in the 15’s could also be credited to its 7’s accomplishments and the international exposure that the team has been able to obtain.
“The 7’s is influencing the style that we are playing right now and that could also be responsible for our success presently,” Henry stated.