Trinidad and Tobago have put paid to Barbados’ hopes of advancing in the Southern Caribbean Rugby Championship. On Saturday at the Garrison Savannah Trinidad and Tobago kicked off with a strong wind to their backs and immediately put pressure on the Barbados line with strong play from their forwards. With pressure building and from play started from what appeared to be a “knock-on”, Trinidad scored a try in the centre by James Philips after four minutes converted by K Figaro to lead 7-0.
Playing into the wind and once again dominating line-outs and scrums, Barbados took the game to Trinidad and were unfortunate to have a score ruled out when No 8 Shaun English appeared to touch down over the Trinidad line, but ruled “held up” by the referee.
A solitary penalty goal, scored by Leon Driscoll, was the only reward for Barbados in their best period of the match, in what otherwise was a very physical half with some ferocious tackling on both sides. Trinidad’s Kwain Munsell earned a yellow card in a particularly ferocious scrum. As the team went in at half time, Trinidad were leading 7-3.
With the wind in their backs for the second half, Barbados knew that if they could pin the Trinidad team deep in their own half scores would come. However, Trinidad followed the example of Barbados in the first half and fought tirelessly to keep play out from their territory. Leon Driscoll did add a penalty goal seven minutes into the second half and came close to adding another shortly after, which drifted wide. Local player Adon Rodgers and Trinidad’s Graeme Alkins also collected yellow cards in the second half, when passions ran particularly high.
The game’s intensity reached a new high in the last ten minutes, when Trinidad centre James Philips scored his second try, finishing off a sweeping move in the backs and touching down over the Barbados line inches in from the touchline. Trinidad rounded off a good performance with their final try of the match scored by Jamal Clark with three minutes left on the clock.
The final score was 19-6 in favour of the men from the Land of the Hummingbird.
This ends the Barbados team’s participation in the Caribbean Championships for this year, with Trinidad & Tobago playing Guyana in Port of Spain next weekend to decide who progresses to play USA South for the title of Caribbean champions.