Panthers are champions of STAG Carnival 7s Rugby
- $1 million top prize promised to 2020 winner
By Akeem Greene
Panthers Rugby Club are US$1,400 richer after holding their nerves to win the second edition of the STAG Beer Carnival Sevens Rugby Tournament at the Georgetown Football Club, Bourda, on Sunday evening.
Clashing with the unbeaten Northern Rugby Club of Trinidad and Tobago in the final, the Guyanese lads withstood the intense pressure and snatched a 12-7 victory, compliments of Ozie McKenzie.
The scores were levelled 7-7 at half time, and it seemed extra time was needed before McKenzie produced a blazing run from mid-field to score the winning try.
Jamal Angus had scored the first try which was converted by Godfrey Broomes. The visitors quickly responded with a breakaway of their own with Davel Scott making the try which was brilliantly converted by Sebastian Navarro. The Trinidadians took home US$700 for their second place finish.
Northern had defeated Panthers 22-7 during the preliminary stages and knocked out defending champions Pepsi Hornets via a 14-0 triumph.
Panthers drew 12-12 with Yamaha Caribs in the first match and got convincing victories over Hornets (14-12) and Police (29-7).
Panthers’ captain Rondell McArthur told News Room Sport, they are overjoyed the with the victory, especially after bouncing back from a tough defeat to the said opponents.
He further stated they stuck to the plans; they will invest the winnings into purchasing cleats and other gear for the team.
Journalist Rawle Toney, principal behind the event, expressed great delight at the high level of play. He strongly believes the one-day event gave the national selection panel an overview of possible options for the Olympic Qualifiers for Cayman Islands in July.
Toney also brought broader smiles to players by stating the first place prize will move to US$5,000 next year, making it the most lucrative tournament in the Caribbean.
“Let me say this now; the Guyana Carnival Rugby Sevens will be $1M [US$5,000]. I am putting that out there because we have the support of our sponsors. This year’s tournament as it is, recognises as the second largest prize money for rugby in the Caribbean and next year we will supersede that of any tournament in the Caribbean,” he fervently stated.
Apart from ANSA McAL Trading Limited through the STAG Beer brand, Guyana Lottery Company’s Let’s Bet Sports and Ramps Logistics were the other partners.