Bajans bow out
Barbados finished seventh among an 11-team field at the Rugby 7s competition played at Twin Elms Rugby Park in Ottawa, Canada, over the weekend.
But though that placement made them the fifth best team of the Caribbean entrants and represented an improvement on their last place out of 15 teams in 2011, their overall position has quashed any chances of a spot in the 2013 Rugby World Cup slated for Moscow, Russia, for which they were contending.
In the seventh place play-off game of the knockout phase of the tournament, which was also the Bowl Final, Barbados demolished the Bahamas 29 – 0. A series of unforced errors saw the Bahamas fall behind from very early, with consecutive turnovers near their end-zone on which the marauding Bajans capitalized.
Barbados easily converted for their first two tries and rushed to a 10-0 lead at the half.
The second period followed basically the same as the first, with Bahamas finding few answers to Barbados’ offensive efforts.On day one, the 11 teams played round-robin pool matches with the top two teams from Pool A and the top three teams from Pools B and C moving into an eight team knockout tournament on day two, with the bottom team in each pool playing in a separate round-robin competition for the minor places.
On Saturday in round one Barbados opened with a 19-12 victory over the Cayman Islands and repeated the same score-line in another close encounter against Guyana.
However, Barbados went down 19-14 to their perennial nemesis Trinidad and Tobago in the Plate semi-final, after leading 14-5 at the half and then giving away three soft tries. They had earlier been beaten by the Trinidadians in pool play, losing 17-0.Barbados then lost their game composure on both the defensive and offensive end in the Cup quarter-finals when they came up against the strong Canadian team, going down 45 – 7.
The Barbadians were particularly undermined by Canada’s Connor Braid who tormented their defence from start to finish.Canada would later defeat the USA 26-19 in the Cup Final and claimed the NACRA 7s Championship with both teams qualifying for the Moscow World Cup rugby showpiece.Knowledgeable commentators at Twin Elms commended the Barbadian team, noting they looked like the best regional side on show and the only Caribbean unit that appeared to be Sevens Rugby material.
Barbados Rugby Football Union President, George Nicholson, told Barbados TODAYthe association was moving forward and looking ahead to better things at the 2013 NACRA Sevens. He noted that tournament would serve as the qualification tournament for the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games (CACSO) Games in Mexico.
Prior to the team’s departure Nicholson had indicated that Barbados’ participation in the tournament had been made possible through assistance from