Regional & Multisport Sevens
Guyana win CACSO Games gold medal
Guyana lived up to their billing as favourites to claim the first ever CACSO (Central American and Caribbean Sports Organisation) Games Rugby Sevens gold medal on home soil by beating Jamaica 31-7 in Georgetown on Sunday.
The top seeds conceded only three tries - against Bahamas, Venezuela and Jamaica - en route to the title as their strong collective and individual talent shone through with Kevin McKenzie one of Guyana's standout players.
It was Jamaica, though, who sprung the surprise of the tournament by outplaying Trinidad & Tobago to triumph 21-10 in the other semi final, the two sides having played out a 5-5 draw in Pool B on day one.
Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago had topped their respective pools on day one at Providence Stadium in Georgetown, the hosts with a perfect record of three victories over Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and Costa Rica and their main rivals having seen off Venezuela and Mexico.
This meant that in the quarter finals Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago would tackle Venezuela and Costa Rica respectively, with the much improved Mexicans facing the Cayman Islands and Jamaica coming up against their neighbours the Bahamas.
Venezuela restricted Guyana to a 14-7 half time advantage before the superior fitness and speed of the hosts saw them emerge comfortable 28-7 winners, while Trinidad & Tobago beat Costa Rica 33-5.
Mexico on the rise
Mexico overcame the Cayman Islands 14-0 to earn a semi final with Guyana, while Trinidad & Tobago would again meet Jamaica after they defeated Bahamas 15-0 to keep alive their hopes of securing a medal in this historic tournament.
The first semi final went according to the seeding with Guyana defeating Mexico 31-0, leaving Jamaica to grab the headlines with their upset of Trinidad & Tobago.
Ultimately, though, they couldn't repeat the feat in the final with Claudius Butts, Theodore Henry, Dominic Lespierre, Richard Staglon and Dwayne Schroeder crossing for tries to the delight of the home crowd.
Mexico, who had been seeded seventh for the tournament, finished on a high note by beating Trinidad & Tobago 10-5 to claim the bronze medal, a fitting reward for a team showing the strides they are making in Rugby in the region, both tactically and physically.
Bahamas finished fifth overall by beating Venezuela 26-15, while Cayman Islands overcame Costa Rica 38-0 on the final day of a Sevens tournament bringing together teams from the IRB's Regional Associations CONSUR and NACRA for the first time.
The six NACRA (North America and Caribbean Rugby Association) teams now turn their attention to the Regonal championship in Guyana on Thursday and Friday, when they will be joined by St Lucia, Barbados and the British Virgin Islands.
Guyana will be looking to retain their title and qualify for the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, next year when Rugby Sevens will make its debut at an exciting time for the sport following its inclusion in the Olympic Games programme from 2016,
Cayman Islands 21-12 Costa Rica
Guyana 21-7 Bahamas
Bahamas 24-12 Costa Rica
Guyana 38-0 Cayman Islands
Bahamas 17-5 Cayman Islands
Guyana 54-0 Costa Rica
Jamaica 5-7 Mexico
Venezuela 7-20 Trinidad & Tobago
Trinidad & Tobago 14-0 Mexico
Venezuela 7-7 Jamaica
Trinidad & Tobago 5-5 Jamaica
Venezuela 10-10 Mexico
Guyana 28-7 Venezuela
Cayman Isalnds 0-14 Mexico
Jamaica 15-0 Bahamas
Trinidad & Tobago 33-5 Costa Rica
Guyana 31-0 Mexico
Jamaica 21-10 Trinidad & Tobago
Venezuela 24-10 Cayman Islands
Bahamas 26-0 Costa Rica
Cayman Islands 38-0 Costa Rica
Venezuela 15-26 Bahamas
Mexico 10-5 Trinidad & Tobago
Guyana 31-7 Jamaica
For more information on the NACRA Sevens visit www.nacrugby.com.