BVI Rugby team secures third consecutive victory to top NACRA 2015 South Zone Cup League


BVI beats Curacao 19-0 to top NACRA 2015 South Zone Cup Photo: Todd VanSickle

BVI beats Curacao 19-0 to top NACRA 2015 South Zone Cup
Photo: Todd VanSickle

With three consecutive victories, the national rugby team has topped the South Zone of the 2015 North American Caribbean Rugby Association’s 15s tournament, following an emphatic victory against Curacao at the A. O Shirley Recreational Grounds on Saturday, May 2.

On a dusty grounds, due to ongoing renovation works, the BVI shutout the visitors 19-0 and will now move on to face familiar opponent, Barbados.

In the 7th minute, the BVI seized a 7-0 lead behind a try by Shamarie Spencer and subsequent conversion by Rory Thornton. Shortly before halftime, the BVI struck again when Noel Maxwell scored with a burst of speed to push the lead to 12-0.

Curacao would respond with an offense surge that lasted about 5 minutes a few yards from the try line, but the BVI defense held up to ensure a 12 point lead when the halftime whistle blew.

Austin Keil crushed the hopes of the visitors when he broke two tackles and secured a try under the uprights. The conversion by Thornton gave the BVI the 19 point victory and a chance to play the top seeded teams in the Caribbean.

Head coach Sherlock Solomon was proud of the team’s accomplishment, particularly, since players from the under-19 program have started to come through. The BVI went to St. Lucia and St. Vincent and returned home with victories.

“Last season we were building and a year later you can see the work. The youngsters were very encouraging and impressive. We were fitter and much more consistent this year and the results prove how hard we have been working for the last 12 months,” said Solomon.

Asked further to explain what has changed since the BVI has always been working, Solomon said, “I think the commitment and the guys learning and understanding the game because half the team was made up of under 19s. They took their licks last year, went to the gym, worked harder and learned from that. It was really satisfying to see the progress,” said Solomon.

For Curacao, the stifling BVI defense was too much to overcome, acoording to captain Robin Perry.

“I don’t think that we played too well that is because the BVI didn’t let us. They played very solid defense, we couldn’t break them down. As a team we are very disappointed, but fair play to the BVI because they were the better team,” Perry stated.

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.