Says Treiston Joseph
Before the national ruggers left the shores of Guyana there was a big sting about the team in the media and their prospects of doing well at the Hong Kong Sevens.
This was the third time the team had been preparing for the prestigious event and the buzz about the squad was definitely in the air especially with a few fresh faces on the squad that were deserving of their places.
Nevertheless, after heavy losses in all three of their games to Spain, Uruguay and Papa New Guinea, the team returned to no media buzz.
But while they struggled and lost, can we really and truly blame the players? After all, this was the country’s third time at the event and the players’ consistency was unequivocally tested.
The national rugby team has been the most consistent national side over the past decade, dominating the Caribbean and even the North American Caribbean region, yet the ruggers find themselves on the same level they were seven years ago.
Who is to blame for their lack of development?
Really and truly, in my estimation, the players have done all they can, giving Guyana countless Caribbean Sevens and 15s titles.
The question now is what has the administration of rugby done for the players?
We cannot expect to play the same Caribbean teams we have been dominating for the past years and hope the squad improves; we cannot continue to give the players no financial aid and hope they stay dedicated and we certainly can’t expect to pay the player US$10 stipend (what they received in Hong Kong according to sources) and expect the players to put their bodies on the line for the country.
There has been no structure of progressive development by the Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) and that has robbed the countless well-oiled teams of reaching that next level.
This is the same reason GRFU’s funding has been cut because of the lack of development to the women’s aspect of the sport as well as the junior side of the game.
Simply put the blame falls directly on the shoulders of the administrators for their lack of development.
The Guyanese men can no doubt dominate the Caribbean region, but they need more games against teams within the South American and maybe Central American region to develop the speed of the game and this is without advocating for game time with much bigger sides such as Canada or Wales which might be too expensive for the GRFU.
Development can be incremental and you can start small, but the effort needs to be made and the GRFU needs to stop complaining about funding and market their team that has been highly successful.
Every team has a window of success and not before long that window of dominance Guyana has been enjoying for so long will soon be shut and then what?
Nevertheless, kudos to the ‘Green Machine’ ruggers.