St Lucia take advantage of waning BVI to win 29-18


rugbylosetostlucia_b3192b16d7316eccbfaffe4f61a47eaeThe BVI looking for a win to get the NACRA Rugby Championship qualifying back on track on Sunday went down 29-18 to St Lucia with a display late in the second half that belied believe and had Coach Sherlock “Sam” Solomon benused by his Senior Players, but encouraged by his young charges.

The defeat made even  harder to take for the players given they had bossed large parts of the game, had been 13-5 ahead at half time and even extended that lead to 18-8 mid way through the second period.

Tom Chapman opened the scoring for the hosts, following up a Roan Thornton drive to the line, picking the loose ball up and diving over for a try.

Rory Thornton missed the conversion attempt and moments later the BVI defense was caught napping as Lenford Eugene ran straight through a flat back line to equalize.

Following a little pushing and shoving, which involved virtually all 30 players on the pitch and resulted in a spell in the sin bin for Imran William and Patrick Dennis, the BVI regained the lead through a penalty from Rory Thornton and then reached the comfort of half time extending the lead courtesy of a searing run from Vivien Harris.

Harris outpaced three St Lucia defenders from just inside his own half to score, but Thornton missed the conversion attempt leaving the score 13-5.

St Lucia converted a penalty from the boot of Colvis Samuel, to make it 13-8, after a dominating spell early in the second period, but the move of the match, at least from the home team perspective, saw Noel Maxwell score the easiest of tries in the left hand corner as the BVI finally began to move the ball across the field at pace. The conversion was missed and so was a penalty moments later and then the wheels fell off for the BVI.

At 18-8 ahead the BVI should have gone on to put the game away. However following a quickly taken “tap” penalty Cyriacus Isadore burst through the BVI defensive line from just inside his own half evaded three forlorn attempted tackles and scored under the posts. Samuel made the simple conversion and suddenly the whole game changed momentum with the score now just 18-15.

Jerry Charles ran through the BVI defense again moments later to make it 18-20, Samuel converted, extending the lead to 18-22 and then to put the icing on the cake, Eugene scored again to make it 18-27 and Samuel rubbed salt into the BVI wounds, rounding out the scoring at 18-29 with another successful conversion.

“I’m very proud of the team” commented St Lucia Captain, Charles “we held on into the second half and knew the BVI team were getting tired. We turned to our youth and speed and got around them to score the crucial points.”

BVI Coach, Sherlock “Sam” Solomon rued the poor handling skills shown by his team “we were doing so well in the first half and then deep into the second half, but St Lucia pressure and some poor tackling cost us the match. When they scored from their own 25 that took the wind out of us and changed the game.”

Solomon was pleased with the youngsters who took part, but also felt the senior players should have stepped up to the plate more “we worked on the Forwards controlling the ball, but after the first phase it just wasn’t happening. The youngsters had a good came, some of the seniors seemed to lack fitness by the end, but we didn’t control the ball enough.”

The BVI has one game left to play, against Curacao, whilst St Lucia moves onto a home game against St Vincent to wrap up their Group play.