by Rawle Toney
The atmosphere was truly electric with scores of Rugby hungry fans storming the University of the West Indies St Augustine Campus in Trinidad & Tobago as the hosts trounced Guyana 20 – 0 to advance to the NACRA 15s finals.
With that crushing win, Trinidad and Tobago will now face USA South at home for the American and Caribbean Rugby Association 15s Championship.
The Guyanese team which is considered the power house of the sport in the Caribbean, was forced to play from behind for the entire game as Trinidad moved forward. Guyana began miserably falling 14 – 0 at the end of the first half. The GT Ruggers never recovered.
Trinidad scored just three minutes into the encounter, thanks to a penalty converted by Kelson Fiago and then Jessy Richards scored the first try of the game.
Trinidad’s defence stood resolute, thwarting several organised runs by the Guyanese; a move which the home coach Larry Mendez told News Source they were keen on, since Guyana is known as a very tactical unit.
Meanwhile, on the resumption of the second half, Guyana’s chances of hoisting another title in the rigorous game were drifted further when Trinidad’s Anthony Lopez scored a try in the second stanza of the game.
Guyana created no real chances to enhance catch up with the Trinis as they did against Barbados at home, since the likes of Claudius Butts, and Richard Staglon; two of their more senior players were kept at bay given the fact that they play their club Rugby in Trinidad.
Following the sound of the referee’s ‘Fox40’, the crowed stormed the field carrying the flag of Twin Island Republic and joined the winning team in their victory chants as the Guyanese laid on the field with looks of dejection on their faces.
“This victory means a lot for Trinidad and Tobago because Guyana is the only country who gives us a hell of a time & beats us” noted Mendez.
Guyana was responsible for eliminating Trinidad in last year’s World Cup Qualifiers and the victory, Mendez said was sweet revenge.
Theodore Henry, Guyana’s head coach, said “hats off to Trinidad, they played well. Our guys were overpowered and today (Saturday) the better team won. I have no excuses! We will regroup as unit and prepare for the 7s in which you know we give up that title to Mexico, so we’ll be looking to get that back.
Guyana’s Rickford Cummings was rushed to the hospital after he collapsed upon completion of the game.
The player complained to the staff and other players that he was feeling dizzy and subsequently fell unconscious. He was unresponsive to doctors on hand at the time of his departure to the hospital.
Up to the time of this report being filed, News Source was unable to obtain an update on his condition. (Filed June 1, 2013)
-Photo: Guyanese player being rushed to hospital-