President of the Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU), Peter Green, yesterday underscored the importance of the Rugby Americas North (RAN) away game versus Trinidad on Saturday.
For both teams, a lot hinges on the final of the southern zone of the RAN 15’s match scheduled for a 16:00hrs start at Hasely Crawford stadium.
Green was adamant that Guyana will not only be playing for national pride or to avenge last year’s close encounter defeat (20-22) but for a place in the final of the championship, a jump in the world rankings and a step closer to clinching a 2019 World Cup berth.
On the table of more than 100 teams, Guyana is ranked 53 in the world while Trinidad is ranked 46.
According to Green, once Guyana is victorious on Saturday, the national team will face the winner of the Northern Zone (either Cayman Island or Mexico) for the overall spoils of the RAN Championship, but most importantly will move up in the world ranking by at least three places.
The Cayman Islands/ Mexico game is scheduled for July 5.
Green also noted that the winner of the RAN tournament will progress to the next round in November.
He opined that the game should be a hard fought one.
“Whenever Trinidad plays Guyana the score never seems to go beyond 25,” said Green adding that he expects his charges, dubbed the `Green Machine’ to overcome the Soca Warriors.
“We are throwing everything at the Trinidadians,” said Green.
“We are not going there to just participate, we are heading there to win and move forward,” he added.
Guyana’s contingent was scheduled to depart this morning at 08:00hrs and will return on Sunday at 16:00hrs.
Coach Laurie Adonis told media operatives yesterday that the mood in the camp was one of confidence and that his charges are fit and ready for the TT challenge. Adonis disclosed that Australia-based, Kevin McKenzie has been named in the starting line up since he “brings a lot of experience and other intangibles to the team.”
On their path to Saturday’s Southern Zone final, Guyana thrashed Barbados 48-17 then blanked Jamaica in the second half for a 23-5 win.
The local ruggers will be looking to continue their winning ways in match three in two days. (Emmerson Campbell)