Guyana men retain NACRA Sevens title

(IRB.COM) Monday 2 August 2010
 
 Guyana men retain NACRA Sevens title
Guyana celebrate retaining the NACRA men's Sevens title

Guyana's men's Rugby Sevens team followed their gold medal at the CACSO Games by retaining the NACRA (North America and Caribbean Rugby Association) Sevens championship on Friday with a 22-17 victory over Jamaica in the final in Georgetown, Guyana.

It is Guyana's fifth successive regional Sevens success and they extend their bragging rights for a further 12 months, in doing so matching the feat of their female counterparts, who claimed their NACRA title last week.

The Guyana side has competed with distinction on the IRB Sevens World Series in the past year, notably drawing 12-12 with rugby powerhouse France at the USA Sevens in Las Vegas, but they did not have things all their own way in Georgetown.

On day one Jamaica highlighted the increasing competitiveness throughout the region by beating them, 17-5, while in the other pool Trinidad and Tobago dominated, going undefeated against Mexico, Bahamas and Barbados and the British Virgin Islands. They eventually lost to Bahamas on day two, however, but Guyana eventually ended the Bahamians' run with a tight 10-5 win.

In the first semi final, Jamaica ran out 17-7 winners over Bahamas and Guyana then went through with a 19-5 win over Mexico to set up a repeat of the pool match on day one, which had been won by Jamaica.

In the final it was the visitors who again started stronger, veteran Andrew Fong opening the scoring and Donald Walters' conversion giving them an early 7-0 lead. Andrew Hilton extended Jamaica's lead to 12-0 before Dominic Lespierre pulled one back for the defending champions, who trailed 12-5 at the break.

Two tries from Kevin McKenzie early in the second half swung the match in Guyana's favour at 17-12 and, although Jamaica levelled through Everton Richards, Mckenzie crossed for his hat trick in the first minute of extra time to take the title for Guyana.

Mexico recovered to win the battle for third place.

Final Standings
1. Guyana
2. Jamaica
3. Mexico
4. Bahamas
5. Trinidad & Tobago
6. Cayman Islands
7. Barbados (Plate winner)
8. St Lucia
9. BVI

For more information go to www.nacrugby.com