Downed but not disgraced
Barbados Junior Rugby representatives were defeated but not disgraced.
Despite suffering a pair of shutout losses, the ultramarine and gold managed to win their last game of the NACRA Under-19 Men’s XV’s Tournament on the way to a credible fifth-place finish at the regional championships in Mexico last month.
Led by Michael Phillips, Barbados held on to beat the last-placed Aztecas – a late replacement for no-shows Jamaica – 17-12 after surviving a run of 12 unanswered points from the Mexicans in the second half.
This was after the Bajan lads fell in successive 60-0 and 25-0 routs to eventual champs Cayman Islands and Mexico respectively.
“It’s easy to say we should have done better, but we did what we could on the day, and I know that the players have learnt a lot from the exposure and the experience,” said manager Kathie Daniel of the team’s performance.
“We were the youngest team on tour [so] I don’t think we have anything to be ashamed of.”
“I hope this team sticks together, because next year, we will give the rest of the region something to think about,” she added.
Coaches Dennis Hargreaves and Peter Bynoe were also encouraged by the team’s effort, citing the squad’s relative youth and lack of game experience, especially compared to the seasoned Cayman Islands, who successfully defended their title.
The champs beat Trinidad and Tobago 20-10 in the title game behind the Haywood brothers, William and Morgan, despite some telling performances from Trinidian trio Jamaal Stewart, Ross Novorro and Hasani Rodney.
Mexico held on for an 18-10 thriller over Bermuda in the bronze medal showdown. (JM/PR)