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.