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.