– but climb in IRB world rankings
After being defeated without scoring in their previous three rugby Sevens matches of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the national rugby Sevens team delivered an improved performance as they went down to Tonga 14-21 in their final game of the tournament on Tuesday.
The national team went into the quarterfinal bowl match against Tonga at the bottom of their pool (Pool A), which included the tournament’s eventual gold medalists and world number one team, New Zealand, along with Canada and Scotland.
Going up against Pool B’s third place team and the number 16 team on the International Rugby Board (IRB) world rankings, the number 65 ranked Guyana team held their opponents 7-7 at halftime, but were outdone 7-14 in the second half of the game.
According to official results, Guyana instilled the first blow three minutes and 38 seconds into the game when Ronald Mayers breached Tonga’s try line and placed the local team 5-0 ahead. Guyana’s Kevin McKenzie extended the lead to seven with the conversion.
Tonga did not hesitate and responded with a try, scored in the sixth minute and which was successfully converted to level the scores on seven at the half.
Tonga was the first to strike in the second half of the game with a try and conversion which put them ahead 14-7. But Guyana brought the scores level once again after McKenzie infiltrated Tonga’s try line. The conversion to level the game on 14 was successfully taken by Theodore Henry.
Guyana managed to hold the scores level until the 14th and final minute of the game, when Tonga’s Teu Kaufusi secured the eventual game winning try for his team, which was later converted taking Tonga to 21 at the end of the game.
Though exiting the Commonwealth Games winless, the five-time North American and Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) Champions, Guyana, rose to number 65 in the IRB world rankings from the number 66 spot they had occupied prior to the Commonwealth Games. A total of 95 countries are currently listed on the IRB world rankings.
According to information on the IRB official website Guyana rose to their current position on the backs of Andorra, who are the biggest climbers in the latest IRB World Rankings. Andorra rose three places to 59th after defeating Slovenia 22-7 in their European Nations Cup Division 2B encounter in Andorra la Vella.
The victory takes Andorra above Chinese Taipei, Thailand and Venezuela and condemns Slovenia to a five-place slide to 70th.