Despite winning their eighth Caribbean 7s rugby title last weekend in Trinidad, the national men’s team lags way behind outside of the Region.
This was evident in the final of the Rugby Americas North (RAN) 7s final versus Canada on Sunday where the ‘Green Machine’ ran out of gas and went down 52-5 to the Maple Leaf ruggers.
During the debriefing of the tournament yesterday at Olympic House, President of the Rugby union, Peter Green noted that tackling lack of funding, competing in more international tournaments and employing the services of a world class coach are the keys needed for Guyana to unlock success on the world stage.
“Guyana won the Caribbean segment for the eighth time last weekend but I personally feel the level of the opposition is not improving” Green opined.
“This is a very troubling feature” he added “We aspire to be like Canada who scored 175 points and only conceded five, but in my opinion Guyana’s rugby will not benefit unless we have the opportunity to compete regularly on the international circuit. How do you improve against teams you beat year after year, you are not improving.”
The RAN 7s championship is a precursor to the Hong Kong 7s with the top two teams qualifying for the championship in 2017/2018.
By virtue of finishing runners up to Canada, the local ruggers will compete in Hong Kong, however in order for them to be competitive, they will have to engage in high level warm up tournaments involving top flight opponents which will need substantial financial support.
“We also need a high performance coach” Green stated.
The Union head added that: “Other than that, RAN also has to recognize that Guyana needs opportunities to not only play in Hong Kong but in the Las Vegas and Vancouver 7s, we should be given that opportunity too because we would need adequate preparation.”
Competing in those high level tournaments in North America will obviously come at steep price.
“What is needed now is support” Green reiterated.
On a positive note, Green heaped praises on Edward B. Beharry Group of Companies ($1.5M), the Guyana Olympic Association ($1.2M) and the government of Guyana (airport tax waiver and transportation) for helping to make the Trinidad sojourn possible.
He also thanked the coaching staff of the male and female outfits who were on hand to give brief overviews of the tournament.