Guadeloupe defeat leaves Guyana’s rugby pondering
By Akeem Greene
5-19 was the score when referee Fernando Garcia Valdes blew the whistle for the final time between Guyana and Guadalupe at the National Park, Saturday.
The sound brought two vastly different reactions; one of Frenchmen chanting top to the voices and the other was silence for the Guyanese.
Dropped faces told the picture of disappointment of losing the Rugby Americans North (RAN) South Zone 15’s final, and unfortunately, missing the opportunity to possibly return to the Americas Challenge series
Truth be told, it was hard to see them deserving to win, when the two sides lined up.
The visitors kept a compact backline, quickly quelling any flamboyant attacks by the Guyanese and then reacting with the menacing pace of their own.
They dominated the scrums, and only found difficulty kicking penalties due to the cross-wind. Where they lacked in the air, their robust forwards made up on the ground, stretching Guyana thin.
On the cusps of half-time was where the Guyanese faded and the visitors scored two tries and made the conversions.
0-14 to the first half.
Left Flanker Pierre Brun scored the first try and his effort was converted by Thibaut Berthomieu. Through the middle victory, Jung blazed and scored the second try which was successfully converted by Berthomieu.
In the second half, substitute, Hugo Delabroy, produced a blistering run down the right flank to give Guadeloupe their third try, but Berthomieu failed to convert.
Oneil Mckenzie came off the bench and scored for Guyana in the second half, making it 5-19 with eight minutes to go. Lancelot Adonis missed the conversion.
Guyana made some runs towards the try-line but tired legs took a toll, they seem to realize the inevitable.
Should Guyana had won, they would have played Bermuda for the overall RAN title in May for a chance to return to the Americas Challenge series.
Head Coach Kenneth Grant-Stuart stated, “it was poor decisions, we had countless opportunities to score and we just let them fly. We had everything on key, it is just the decision making because we had umpteen tries to score and at the end we take it all up in the field and we just fumble at the end, I don’t know If we rushed it, but we have to regroup and go again.”
The coach further hinted that personnel changes will be considered for future engagements.
Jamal Angus, captain of the team related, “we need to be a bit more adaptable as a team. This group of players play rugby because they love rugby, we don’t get much but we play it for the love and I don’t think the love has gone but we need to do better in preparation and as a unit stay strong.”
The Guyana Rugby Football Union will await RAN’s decision on what is the next step for the team; it is highly likely Guyana will lose ranking points given Guatemala was ranked below.