The national men’s rugby team came from behind to defeat the burly Trinidadian unit 24-17 in a physical match up at the St Stanislaus College Ground yesterday.
The South Zone final of the Rugby Americas North (RAN) 15’s championship game had plenty of promise coming in, and the teams delivered. With physical and fast-paced play, the two rivals did not disappoint the crowd.
Big hit after big hit kept the tempo and excitement up and left everybody wanting more. Among the physical play, the number of penalties was held to a minimum, which led to an impressively clean game on the muddy turf.
The ‘Soca Ruggers’ seems to always have the size advantage as their forward pack easily outweighed the locals. In turn, the local players had to be smart and use their conditioning to their advantage.
Defense was the theme for this occasion, although there were seven tries during the bruising encounter.
After James Phillips put the red, black and white outfit up five-nil, Richard Staglon and Avery Corbin quickly breached the visitors’ try line and Captain Ryan Gonsalves buried the second conversion to give the ‘Green Machine’ a 12-5 lead.
An advantage they would take into the locker room at the half.
Following the break, Ahmad Isaacs then padded the score line with a try of his own to stretch the lead to 17-5.
Trinidad’s Karlon Alexander then answered with a try and following a Johnson Alleyne conversion, the game was separated by just five points.
Corbin then recorded his brace with what had to be the try of the game, running from beyond the half way line, evading several defenders and finishing under the uprights.
Gonsalves then buried another conversion to give his side a 24-12 advantage. Trinidad did not wilt and scratched and clawed their way to another try four minutes before the whistle to keep the scoresheet respectable.
Next up for Guyana is the overall finals match versus Mexico in Mexico on July 1.