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‘Green Machine’ top T&T 24-17

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By Treiston Joseph

Brute force and strength and a little bit of mud made for a physical game that showcased toughness, grit and heart as Guyana topped Trinidad and Tobago 24-17 to defend their South Zone 15’s rugby title in the RAN’s Rugby tournament on Saturday at the St. Stanislaus College ground on Carifesta Avenue.

While one would have expected a faster paced game by both sides, it turned out to be a battle between the two sides especially after Trinidad came out gunning, putting Guyana on the back foot with an early try by James Phillips in the ninth minute.

Guyana then scored the next  two tries with Richard Staglon (16th) and Avery Corbin (19th) making it to the end zone, while Captain Ryan Gonsalves chipped in with a conversion to help Guyana to a 12-5 lead heading into the halftime break.

The second half had a bit more pace to it, but with Guyana holding their own in the pack during scrums, Ahmad Isaacs was able to break free to score a try to help the host country to a 12-point lead.

Karlon Alexander’s try in the 73rd minute along with a Johnson Allen conversion closed the gap for Trinidad to 17-12. However, Corbin would make a bevy of sleek moves along with breaking a few tackles from the halfway line to finish in the end zone for probably the try of the day in the 78th minute of the match. Gonsalves also nailed his second conversion of the day.

Trinidad scored one other try through the efforts of Samuel Roberts in the 84th minute which would only lesson the gap but unable to help the red, white and black to a victory before the final whistle was blown. 

Guyana’s coach Kenneth Grant Stuart was pleased with the win and brand of rugby that the team played, noting that it was a “graceful performance.”

Captain Gonsalves highlighted that the team needs to work more on conditioning, sharing that the guys started to tire around the 70th minute. However, he believes along with Stuart that the guys will be ready to face Mexico for the overall title in three weeks.

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