Big-game mentality needed for resurgence of ‘Green Machine’
By Akeem Greene
The Guyana Rugby football Union (GRFU) is in search of a formula that can result in the return of consistent success in the Sevens format.
The first test in the dawn of a new and younger era will be the Rugby Americas North (RAN) Sevens on October 16 and 17 in the Turks and Caicos.
According to former player and now Head Coach, Theodore Henry, the players handling pressure in tough moments will be a recipe for success in crunch situations.
“We have quite a number of new players added to this team, so it depends on the mindset they enter this tournament with,” Henry expressed at a press conference on Thursday when the team was announced.
“[It] is whether they will go there and bring out that big-game mentality or they’re going to fold under the pressure and we are hoping they bring out the bring [big] game mentality as we know that Guyana is capable of doing,” the coach further elaborated.
The national team, commonly called the ‘Green Machine’, won six consecutive Sevens titles from 2006 to 2011, but the last of its eight titles came in 2016.
Since then, it has been a topsy-turvy period. The last time this tournament was played in 2019, Guyana finished sixth.
Henry, who won seven titles with the team, pointed out that apart from the mentality aspect, another component of success would be hard work.
“The ingredient that we had was basically hard work as well as experience and the fact that we have been doing it for a long time, even before our first title. We would have had a lot of heartbreaks and lost a lot of tournaments, but this team has not experienced it as yet and they will be getting their feet wet in this tournament.”
He added, “I am hopeful in the fact that I have been there and a lot of my wisdom and knowledge, I can teach them and we don’t have to start from ground zero.”
According to the coach, minimum success will be a top-four finish, but given how are they seeded, “it is highly likely we can make the finals.”
The Guyanese are in Pool C alongside Bermuda, Belize and Curaçao.
The two-day tournament marks the highly anticipated return of international competition since the COVID-19 pandemic started.
The tournament also acts as a qualifier for next year’s World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series, with the winning side gaining the opportunity to compete for the 16th and final spot on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens series.
‘Green Machine’ Squad: Jamal Angus (Captain), Godfrey Broomes, Rondell Mcarthur, Osei Mckenzie, Fabian Joseph, Lancelot Adonis, Peabo Hamilton, Avery Corbin Oneil Charles, Johnathon Garnett. Lionel Holder and Tyrese Prescod.
Management: George David (Manager), Theodore Henry (Head Coach), and Akeem Fraser (Physiotherapist).
The 15-man contingent will depart Guyana on October 13, and return on October 18.
However, they are currently short of approximately G$4 million to make the journey a reality and will be seeking assistance from Government, Private Sector and the public through a fundraising bar-b-que.