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RUGBY: ‘Green Machine’ fall short in late comeback bid against USA South Panthers

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By Treiston Joseph

Guyana lost the Rugby Americas North (RAN) 15’s championship game to USA South Panthers on Saturday at the National Park, but it was not for the lack of effort.

Despite no prior encampment to the game or known major financial support from the government, the ‘Green Machine’ fell short of a comeback, losing 19-23 in the final.

Guyana opened by playing for a lot of possession, attacking the line of the Americans that did not bare any fruits, especially in the soggy and muddy conditions, causing the Guyanese squad on more than one occasions as they dug themselves a quick 8-0 hole when Zach Miller scored a penalty in the 19th minute followed by a Hein Erasmus try in the 29th.

Wayne Chermely would force his way behind Guyana’s defence in the 35th minute to score the first half final try to give the Americans a comfortable 13-0 lead.

To open the second half Guyana gave up a penalty that was buried by Miller in the 54th minute to take the score to 16-0.

However, the second half was a much different story as Guyana started to utilise the wing a little more and while the game amped up it physicality with the players butting heads in scrums, it was Patrick King who got the ball rolling with a breakaway that ended with him scoring right down the middle of the field; followed by an Allen Crawford conversion to make the game 16-7.

Guyana then gave up another try to the bullish efforts of Jordan Gunderson in the 73rd minute, while Miller converted to make the score 23-7 with just seven minutes remaining.

Nevertheless, the Guyanese did not give up with Osie McKenzie scoring back-to-back tries in the 77th and 80th to go along with a Godfrey Broomes conversion, but a little too late was the order of the day as time ran out on the Guyanese.

Captain of the team Ryan Gonsalves, noted that he was pleased with the team’s effort, but their scoreless first half was what really caused them the match. The ‘Green Machine’ will now turn to Seven’s rugby that will be played later this year.

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