Rugby team continues unbeaten run
Emperors’ unbeaten run continued over the weekend with a workmanlike 20-10 victory over Renegades, as action in the Barbados Rugby Football Union competition continued at the Garrison Savannah.
The final scoreline was not indicative of the start of the match, however, as Emperors began in somewhat of a state of slumber. Minutes after the 2:30 p.m. kickoff on Saturday, the Emperors found themselves under severe pressure as the quick and determined Renegades powered past their flimsy defence and Ramoun “Juice” Downes touched down for the try of the match. Brandon Walcott’s attempt at conversion was no good.
The Renegades pressed forward again with a vigorous sequence that carried them past the 22-metre line. However, a contentious exchange with referee Rommell Parris earned Emperors’ captain Jeren “Blinki” Clarke a swift yellow card and a ten-minute stint in the sin bin. Continued disorganized play by the Emperors, plus effective tactics and execution from the Renegades led to another try from David Carter, despite Emperors’ Simon Noble putting up a solid, if solitary attempt at defence.
The half-time score was 10-0 to the Renegades. After the restart spectators witnessed an Emperors’ turnaround of major proportions. David Burke (younger brother of Scorpion’s speed demon Dario Burke) outfoxed the opposition to dot the ball down. Clarke, still smarting from his first-half penalty, tasted sweet revenge with the help of Ché Springer and Dorian Browne to level the score. Scrappy play from Brandon and Darien Walcott, “Juice” Downes and other Renegades was stoutly overcome by a concerted attack from Daniel Ramsay that put the Emperors ahead 15-10.
Romuald “Mu” Allard and Enrique Oxley combined their talents and speed for another Emperors try. With his team firmly in control of the match, Oxley broke away from defenders for a beautiful sprint and potential try that was unfortunately called back due to a forward pass earlier in the sequence. It was a bad day for the kickers as none of the attempts at conversion succeeded. With four tries in the match, the winners also received a bonus point.
The later match saw Scorpions defeating Tridents 49-38 in a contest of experience versus enthusiasm.
The men in blue (Scorpions) opened their offensive with two rapid-fire tries from big man Raj Edwards, jumping out to a 10-0 lead. Rommel “Angry Bird” Moore put his years of experience to good use by overcoming several attempted tackles to score a vital try, while Leandro “Ice Man” Jordan successfully kicked the conversion.
With the score at 10-7, Tridents’ Corey Elcock snapped up an errant ball and swiftly accelerated towards the Scorpions try line, only to have the ball stolen by Dario Stoute who sprinted home for a beautiful try. Veteran Denniston Shepherd of Tridents took this as a personal insult and literally ran over a number of Scorpions to prove that age is only a number and to push Tridents into the lead.
The match quickly turned into a rolling, rushing end-to-end battle, with returning veteran Harold Bynoe and relative newcomer Rommel Byer of Tridents facing off against experienced powerhouse Scorpions Stephen Millar and Kevin Murrell. There were several feisty encounters between the fast and slippery Jordan and Stoute in the kicking contest that followed. Trident Matthew “Willows” Willoughby scored a try and levelled the points at 17-all.
Stoute made another breakaway run to put Scorpions ahead, and was pleased to add another in quick succession, achieving a hat trick. By now, this match had morphed into a basic shoot-out, with tries and conversions coming fast and furious. If you blinked, you missed something vital and entertaining.
Harold Bynoe (Tridents) scored twice more, while Neil Forde (Scorpions) and Jordan (Tridents) kept the scoreboard ticking over. Each side displayed considerable skills in ball-handling and tactics, with hard tackles and some outstanding footwork drawing noisy admiration from the on-lookers.
Millar and Stoute (Scorpions) opened up a commanding lead with another try each, but faced sturdy competition from the “Ice Man” who went on to score with his boot as well as by touching down the pigskin.
As the shadows lengthened on a truly lovely Saturday afternoon, the crowd was treated to a master class of club rugby, but eventually Edwards sealed the deal for his club with a late try. The bonus point went to the victors. Stoute ended the match with four tries while Edwards had a hat-trick.
Play continues on Saturday with Renegades versus Tridents at 2:30p.m. and Emperors against Scorpions at 4 p.m.