BVI tops NACRA South Zone Cup table after victory against St Vincent

By BVI Platinum

BVI defeats St Vincent in NACRA South Zone Cup game. Photo: Oris Photography

BVI defeats St Vincent in NACRA South Zone Cup game. Photo: Oris Photography

The Virgin Islands are sitting at the top of the South Zone Cup table following a 22-15 victory abroad against St. Vincent at the Arnos Vale grounds on Saturday, April 18.

Led by the opening try by Joseph Smith, the BVI seized control of the game, but St. Vincent scored to knot the game at 5-5 in the first half.

In the second half, the BVI punched early with a try from Austin Keil which pushed the lead to 10-5 following a failed conversion kick. However, St. Vincent kept the encounter close.

It took tries from Roan Thornton and Viveon Harry to seal the victory for the BVI and the top spot in the group with one game to play against fierce competitors, Curacao in another two weeks.

To win the group, the BVI needs to win the game which is expected to be played at the A. O Shirley Recreation Grounds. A victory will ensure the BVI moves on to the next round of 2015 North American Caribbean Rugby Association’s 15s tournament.

It remains to be seen if the grounds will be ready in time for the game or the BVI will have to win again on the road as they have done in St. Lucia and St. Vincent.

BVI Rugby squad seeks an important win in St Vincent

By BVIPlatinum

BVI Rugby team in action in St Lucia Photo: BVI Rugby Football Union

BVI Rugby team in action in St Lucia Photo: BVI Rugby Football Union

A 23-member rugby squad will leave the Virgin Islands on Friday for St. Vincent and the Grenadines where they must win to stay in contention in the 2015 North American Caribbean Rugby Association’s 15s tournament.

With a victory in the bag against St. Lucia in February, the BVI knows that they can’t afford a loss or a tie in Saturday’s game at the Arnos Vale grounds at 3:00 pm.

The South Zone Cup features an interesting battle among four teams as both St. Vincent and Curacao have beaten St. Lucia. However, the St. Vincent and Curacao encounter produced a draw.

Head coach, Sherlock ‘Solo’ Solomon told BVI Platinum News that St. Vincent is a familiar opponent. In the 2013 tournament, the BVI beat St. Vincent at home, but St. Vincent returned the favour last year at the A. O. Shirley Recreation grounds.

“We need to win the game to stay ahead in this group,” Solomon stated.

The team features Adebola Haffner, Andre Adams, Damion Brown, Roan Thornton, Thomas Chapman, Vivieon Harry, Kareen Ettienne, Eugene Maduro, Victor Amparo, Elton Pena, Garrenth Jardine, Colin McDonald, Andrew Simmonds, Joseph Smith, Rory Thornton, Austin Keil, Franklyn Victor, Andrew Skeets, Rory Greenam, Donovan Staple, Tavod Morgan, Joash Victor and Mohamed Said.

Simon Knight has been selected as Manager.

According to Solomon, the team is showing some depth as there has been five changes in the squad that won in St. Lucia in February. He spoke about the return of Rory Thornton from England, Keil, the inclusion of Skeets, the addition of two youth under 19 players and the return of former captain Donovan Staple.

The team will be without forwards Federico Zacari, Shamari Spencer and Jevon Thompson, all due to work commitments.

According to Solomon, the team includes 8 under-19 players and it is good to see the youngsters stepping up and making an impact in the team.

“A loss or draw would make the last game very interesting and we don’t want to take any chances so we have to win. St. Vincent is tough assignment and they have been playing good. We have to stay confident and stay ahead of the game. We have a strong backline and and forwards have been looking promising led by Adams, Etenne and Roan Thornton, and Rory is the just returning from England and has made himself available for the game, so I like our team’s chances of returning home with the victory,” Solomon explained.

He said that preparations have been hampered by the lack of proper facilities since the team has been forced to use the Baugher’s Bay field due to ongoing works at the A. O. Shirley Recreation grounds.

“The Recreation Trust has done well to keep the ground low and nice, but there are no flood lights which means that we have to finish practice early. Despite the challenges, the turnout by players has been good. We just a few things to work on before the game,” Solomon said.

NACRA South Zone Cup League update

BVI Rugby team in action. Photo: BVI Rugby

BVI Rugby team in action. Photo: BVI Rugby

Curacao moved to the top of the NACRA Championships 2015 South Zone Cup League table with a 36-19 win over St Lucia at the Mindoo Phillip Park in Castries, St Lucia.

The next fixture will take place on April 18 at the Arnos Vale Sporting Complex, St Vincent when St Vincent & The Grenadines meets the BVI for a critical match in the NACRA Leagues.

NACRA Championships 2015


North Zone Championship League
Cayman Islands 3 -24 Mexico
USA South 25-50 Mexico
USA South 24-25 Cayman Islands

North Zone Cup League
Turks and Caicos Islands 3-55 Bermuda
Bahamas 21-15 Bermuda
18/04: Turks and Caicos Islands v Bahamas

South Zone Championship League
Trinidad & Tobago 22-20 Guyana
Barbados 22-48 Guyana
Barbados 7-44 Trinidad and Tobago

South Zone Cup League
St Lucia 19-36 Curacao
St Lucia 14 – 22 British Virgin Islands
St Vincent & The Grenadines 24-24 Curacao
St Lucia 16-18 St Vincent & The Grenadines

18/04: St Vincent & The Grenadines v BVI

The winner of the South Zone Cup League will play the bottom team of the South Championship League (Barbados) for a shot at promotion to the Championships

Narrow miss for BVI Rugby team at Kowloon 10s in Hong Kong

Team BVI at 14th Kowloon 10s Rugby Fest, Hong Kong. Photo: Franklyn Victor

Team BVI at 14th Kowloon 10s Rugby Fest, Hong Kong. Photo: Franklyn Victor

15 players from the British Virgin Islands Rugby Football Union are in Hong Kong to compete in the 14th annual Kowloon RugbyFest 2015, also known as the Kowloon 10s.

This is the second time the BVI Rugby Football Union has competed in the Kowloon 10s.

On March 25, the team played against five other teams from Australia, Hong Kong and Malaysia and advanced to the semi-finals.

The team barely missed winning in their sixth game to advance to the finals when, with less than 30 seconds left on the clock, the opposing team, The Dirty Frogs, a composite Asia team of players from Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore and Hong Kong, scored.

In welcoming the BVI team, Director of BVI House Asia, Elise Donovan said, “The Kowloon 10s is one of the biggest sporting events in Hong Kong, and teams come from all over the world to compete, so we are extremely proud and delighted to have the BVI represented with such a formidable team.

“Our staff made sure that the BVI had the loudest cheer leaders, so they were very motivated to win. I would also note that a good portion of the team is made up of financial services practitioners, so it was double promotion for the BVI.”

The BVI Team said they were proud to have progressed further this year and were upbeat even after a full day of intense competitions. Last year at the 13th Kowloon 10s Tournament, the team won three games in the first round and was thrilled to also be awarded ‘The Most Social Team’.

Team Coach Sherlock Sam said, “It has been a fantastic trip for the BVI Team here in Hong Kong, especially bringing our younger team members halfway across the world to experience the games and this brilliant city.”

Meanwhile, Chairman of the BVI Rugby Football Union, Ronan Kuczaj said, “We are very proud to join this year’s Kowloon 10s and to see the BVI Team make it into the semi-finals. Competing with so many excellent international teams is a great experience for our team to keep growing and to become stronger.”

After the daytime competition, the BVI Rugby Team joined the ritual Kowloon RugbyFest dinner in the evening, which was partially sponsored by BVI House Asia. Over 600 guests attended, including a number of rugby legends, for an evening of celebrations and social banter.

The BVI Rugby Team was also sponsored by Digicel BVI, Pussers Rum, Walkers, EMCS, SHRM, and Krys Global.

RugbyFest, better known as the Kowloon 10s, began in 2001 to embody the true spirit and camaraderie of the game, complementing the more competitive Rugby Sevens.

The first Kowloon 10s competition took place in 2002, and has since become an integral part of Hong Kong’s week of rugby, visited by teams from all over the world, including the BVI.

The BVI Rugby Football Union is a non-profit organization that started when a group of British, South African and Australian expats living in Tortola, BVI, formed a team and played against a group of Royal Navy engineers. Today, they have grown to a team of 50 active players residing in the BVI from 11 different countries.

As a non-profit, all proceeds go to the Youth Development Program in the BVI, a program that has been running for eight years to teach rugby and development skills to currently 400 students from 10 schools.

The BVI Rugby Football Union strives to promote rugby and its values within and outside of the BVI, particularly to the younger generation.

Outside of the Kowloon 10s, the BVI Rugby Football Union faces off against the Royal Navy twice a year as they pass through the BVI. The team also makes its annual pilgrimage to Trinidad to compete, and work in another two additional tours per year to other Caribbean rugby nations, such as Barbados, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica.

BVI rugby squad wins first match of 2015 NACRA 15s

By BVI Platinum

BVI vs St Lucia at 2015 NACRA 15s in St Lucia. Photo: Provided

BVI vs St Lucia at 2015 NACRA 15s in St Lucia. Photo: Provided

The BVI national squad returned home from St Lucia as winners against St. Lucia with a score of 22 – 14 in their first match of the 2015 North American Caribbean Rugby Association’s 15s. The game was played at the Mindoo Phillip Park, Castries, St Lucia on Saturday.

Tightly contested describes the first half of the game with the BVI enjoying a slim 7-10 halftime lead. Unlike last year’s tournament where the BVI surrendered a 10-point half time lead to St. Lucia, this year, the home side was corrected their mistakes, partly due to the team’s improved fitness.

St. Lucia surged late in the second half, but the BVI’s defense withstood the pressure and allowed just seven more points while adding 12 more points to settle the final score 22-14.

The BVI, St. Lucia, along with St. Vincent and Curacao are playing for the South Zone Cup. The next challenge for the BVI is St. Vincent.

Against St. Lucia, the BVI squad was bolstered by the availability of Nicolas Recondo and Federico Zacari. Some seven players have come through the under-19 youth training program introduced some years ago under the leadership of national coach, Sherlock ‘Solo’ Solomon.

The BVI was eager to take the field to extract revenge after losing a 10 point second half advantage then surrendered the game 29-18 to St. Lucia at the A. O. Shirley Recreation Grounds during last year’s tournament.

In December, the BVI faced St. Lucia in the North America Caribbean Rugby Association’s (NACA) 7s tournament in Mexico City, Mexico and won, 35-14.

Solomon had told BVI Platinum News that this year’s squad has undergone intense training and fitness, including participation in beach rugby tournaments. He expressed the view that the youth players continue to grow and improve steadily and St. Lucia would be a true test of the young squad.

Full Squad

Adebola Haffner, Andre Adams, Burt Woodley, Damion Brown, Jevon Thompson, Roan Thornton, Thomas Chapman, Vivieon Harry, Robert Christie, Shamarie Spencer, Kareen Ettienne, Eugene Maduro, Noel Maxwell, Victor Umparo, Kenrich Thomas, Garreth Jardine, Colin McDonald, Andrew Simmonds, Joseph Smith, Franklyn Victor, Rory Greenam, Federico Zacari, Tarod Morgan and Nicolas Recondo.


BVI Rugby Football Union upcoming events

By: BVI Rugby Football Union

BVI Rugby Football Union Photo: BVIRFU

BVI Rugby Football Union Photo: BVIRFU

The BVI is playing its first NACRA International on February 28th against St Lucia, in St Lucia. Training takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting at 5:30pm at Baughers Bay.

Players who have resided in the BVI for three (3) or more years are eligible to represent the territory and get a CAP.
There are two additional NACRA fixtures against Curacao to be played at home on a date yet to be confirmed and against St Vincent on April 18 in St Vincent.

Other upcoming events include the the Fort Lauderdale Rugby RUGGERFEST 2015, February 21-22 when BVI players will join up with St Thomas rugby club to compete in Florida.

The Six Nations is back on with the first game, Wales v England, kicking off at 4:00pm on Friday, February 6.

The Kowloon 10s take place in Hong Kong on March 25.

In response to the interest expressed in contact rugby and given the availability of a full size field, the BVIRFU is looking to start a 10 aside competition which can be played at either Capoons Bay or Green lands in the East End, possibly on a Friday night. Anyone interested in playing or forming a team is invited to get in contact with the BVIRFU so that a schedule can be prepared. BVIRFU has enough jumps for about three teams.

VI national rugby squad exit Mexico 2014 NACRA 7s tournament after quarter finals


BVI rugby squad at the North America Caribbean Rugby Association's (NACRA) 7s tournament in Mexico City, Mexico. Photo: Provided

BVI rugby squad at the North America Caribbean Rugby Association’s (NACRA) 7s tournament in Mexico City, Mexico. Photo: Provided

A string of tough losses and lots of lessons to take away as the VI national squad concluded the North America Caribbean Rugby Association’s (NACRA) 7s tournament held December 3 -4 in Mexico City, Mexico.

On the second and final day of the tournament, Pool B teams, BVI and Barbados clashed in the quarterfinals, but despite some good opportunities, the BVI squad lost the encounter, 38-0. Despite the final score, the BVI showed a bit of improvement on the score of their very first game of the tournament which they lost to  Barbados, 69-0.

The loss against Barbados pushed the BVI into the plate section of the tournament where they faced Jamaica and while they managed to put points on the score sheet, Jamaica won, 43-14.

In their third game of the final day, the BVI faced a determined Bermuda squad. The final score was 33-0.

In the final analysis, the BVI team started preparations for the tournament in September. With several senior players unavailable for selection, including national captain, Donovan Staples, several players from the under-19 program were given an opportunity to play at a competitive level.

Head coach, Sherlock ‘Solo’ Solomon will have plenty of notes from the tournament to sift through as the BVI searches for improved performances at the regional level.

Guyana & Mexico Are Champs

While Mexico’s men’s and women’s teams both booked Cup Final spots in their respective divisions, it was the women who prevailed over Trinidad and Tobago to book a spot to Toronto and the 2015 Pan Am games.

Mexico’s women looked sharp in a one-sided 40-5 win.

The men appeared to have things under control, leading 21-7 at one point before Guyana showed the resolve and belief in themselves to score a penalty try with under a minute left to take the lead 33-28.

Guyana scored 26 points in its comeback, leaving the pro-Serpiente crowd shell shocked as they watched a nearly one minute discussion between the referees and assistant referees before the indication of a penalty try was given. Guyana absorbed the ensuing kick-off and kicked the ball into touch to take the win.

Ryan Gonsalves, Captain of the Guyanese team, said he and his teammates have a lot of belief in their ability to overcome adversity. “We have had this happen in 15s as well,” he said after the match. “We just stay calm and keep doing the right things and get back into the game.”

Rosie Riviera, Captain of the Mexican women’s team was beaming following the win. “To do this in front of our fans, our friends, our family is so amazing,” she said, adding, “This win was for everyone.”

Other women’s action saw Jamaica claim the Plate Final with a 12-5 win over St. Lucia.

In men’s action, Barbados finished the tournament in third place with a 17-14 win over Trinidad and Tobago.

The Plate Final saw Cayman Islands double up on Jamaica 22-11.

Both the finalists on the men’s side booked spots to the Toronto 2015 Pan Am games next July.

Curacao overcome BVI in NACRA Championship


South Zone League

South Zone League

In the final round of the South Zone Cup League Curacao and St Lucia came away with bonus point victories which allowed the two teams to finish 1-2 in the four team pool.

Curtleyson Martis struck for three tries including two first half efforts while fullback Tjakko Breuer had a brace as Curacao rolled over the British Virgin Islands 42-12 to take top spot in the South Zone Cup League title on Saturday. Thomas Chapman and Rory Thorton responded with second half tries for the BVI with Thorton converting his own effort.

St Lucia got a pair of tries from Lenford Eugene with solos from Ervin Joseph and Imran Williams, along with three Colvis Samuels conversions to win 26-22 over St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Kicking was the difference as St Vincent got two bonus points in the loss as Philip Alvis got two tries along with five pointers from Justin Joyles and George Kruger. Alvis only hit for one conversion from four attempts as St Vincent lost by less than 7 points and scored four tries. St Lucia finished 2nd in the South Zone Cup League with 6 points in the table and a 2-1 record while St Vincent, with a 1-2 record, ended with 5 points in the table including 3 bonus points.

As a result of this round, Curacao will take on the third place finisher in the South Championship League, which is 0-2 Barbados, while Bermuda (0-2) will take on Mexico in the other relegation promotion match. These games are scheduled to take place in September at the respective top place finisher, AOS home field.

Cedar School & St Georges claim school Rugby Championships

Copyright: VINO

Photo credit: Charlie Jackson

Photo credit: Charlie Jackson /VINO

Cedar International School overcame a tenacious Francis Lettsome Primary, 2-1, in the BVI Rugby Union’s U13 Championship, whilst St Georges completed a come from behind win over Cedar to secure the U16 Title on Thursday June 12th, 2014.

The 2014 School Festivals brought to a close the School Rugby Season and was a fitting celebration of the sport that is developing at a fast rate.

Both Cedar and FLPS had reached the final after two tense semi final victories and a whole host of competitive group qualification action.

Cedar had a 3-2 win over Cedar “A” to claim their place in the Final following a 2-0 win over Ebenezer Thomas, a 3-2 victory over Enis Adams and a 7-1 romp against the Seventh-day Adventists. Meanwhile FLPS secured victories over Ivan Dawson Primary, 4-2, Isabella Morris, 1-0, Cedar “A”, 4-1 and then Ebenezer Thomas, 3-2, to reach the Final.

After Cedar came out Champions with a 2-1 win in the final, Rugby Development Officer and Coach, Sherlock “Sam” Solomon noted how much the game is improving at the Primary School level.

“The competition level was really up there and the kids are getting better and better, with the result that wins are hard to come up with. FLPS won the competition 2 years ago and were back, looking good this time around, but they seemed to have a few issues in the Final and let the game slip away from them,” said Solomon.

The U15’s took the field on Thursday afternoon and the best of three final saw St Georges stage a come from behind, 2-1 best of three win over Cedar School.

The first game went the way of Cedar, 2-0, courtesy of two scores from Kendall Davies, but then the Chalwell boys combined to give St Georges a 2-1 win in game two.

The deciding match saw Dylan Moses run riot down the left wing in the first half, scoring twice and giving his team, St Georges a comfortable lead that they never surrendered, running out 2-0 winners to claim the Championship.

Coach “Solo” was not surprised that St Georges had regrouped so well to claim the Title. “They always had a good set of players and it was good to see Joseph pick his team up after losing the first game to play some good rugby and come out winners. Overall the skill levels have gone up during the year and it was good to see both teams moving the ball around from side to side and probing for defensive weaknesses.”

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.