Ruggers face serious challenge at Pan American Championships

After a below par showing at the NACRA Championships and Olympic Qualifiers in Cary, North Carolina last weekend, the national male 7s rugby outfit will look to iron out some of the wrinkles when they contest the Pan American Championships next month in Canada.

“There must be a reduction in the margin of defeat” said Head Coach of the ‘Green Machine’, Theo Henry yesterday. “We will try to clean up the bad areas and make it more competitive” Henry added during the GRFU press briefing at Olympic House.

In Cary, Guyana defeated The Bahamas 38-19 in their opening game, controversially lost to the Cayman Islands 14-12 and were drubbed 51-nil by Canada. However on the second day of the two-day championships, the unit regrouped to beat Trinidad 29-5 and Jamaica 19-5.

The GRFU top brass and coach of the men’s national rugby team, Theo Henry (second from right) pose for a photo following yesterday’s press briefing at the GOA’s headquarters in Kingston
The GRFU top brass and coach of the men’s national rugby team, Theo Henry (second from right) pose for a photo following yesterday’s press briefing at the GOA’s headquarters in Kingston

It was a bit too late as the seven-time NACRA champions finished fifth overall and third in the NACRA edition.

According to Henry, the porous defence of the ruggers was the major cause for the heavy defeat at the hands of Canada and will be addressed and worked on ahead of the two-day rugby segment of the Pan Am Championship which kicks off on July 10 in Toronto.

Pool A consists of the USA (1st seed), Uruguay (4th seed), Chile (5th seed) and Mexico (8th seed).

Seeded seventh, Guyana was drawn in Pool B where they will face Argentina (2nd seed) Canada (3rd seed) and Brazil (6th seed).

“We are looking for upsets in this group” Henry boasted. “The ultimate goal should be to upset teams in our group. I believe once rugby is at the forefront of their (the players) heads, they will perform excellently”, the coach of the year opined.

The touring players are as follows:

Richard Staglon (Captain), Dwayne Schroeder, Akeem Fraser, Claudius Butts, Patrick King, Ronald Mayers, Avery Corbin, Lancelot Adonis, Rickford Cummings, Ryan Gonsalves and Phibian Joseph.

Terrence Grant (Manager)

Theo Henry (Coach)

Phillip Browne (Strength and Conditioning)

Guyana and Mexico earned their spots at the Pan Am Championships after finishing first and second at last year’s NACRA 7s Championships. (Emmerson Campbell)

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