THE highly anticipated match between Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and hosts team Saint Lucia Rugby Football Union in collaboration with Rugby Americas North (RAN) did not disappoint last Saturday on the La Clery playing field.
With a supportive crowd on hand to take in the action, the two teams comprised a mixture of youth and experienced players in their lineup who were keen to get things started and to finally see who would be victorious.
As customary, the players on both sides greeted each prior to the matchup and then the referee blew the whistle to indicate the start of the showpiece.
This was followed by a series of hard-hitting, fast moving tactical display of skill and aggression which served both teams, entertaining the spectators and players alike.
After the 90 minutes of intense battle on the pitch between the two Saints vying for bragging rights, the young men from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines emerged victorious.
The final score – 17 points to 14 points in favour of SVG.
Team Saint Lucia was able to score one try by the experience Jerry Charles and three penalties by Junior Rugby player of the year Tyrese Samuels, but their combined efforts were not enough to hold back their opponent’s three tries scored by Dugal James and Dimitri Samuel and one conversion scored by Philon Delpesche for the win.
Roger Butcher President SLRFU spoke to the VOICE following the encounter. He said “The Rugby American North (RAN) is having a tournament throughout the Caribbean and this time around Saint Lucia was no exception. The tournament gives the various teams an opportunity to gain ranking points.”
“In terms of the encounter between Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, generally, the home team played ok. We had a few fundamental errors essentially not observing the try area, two of Saint Lucia tries was outside that area.”
Butcher went on to explain, “The field is set in such away where the goal post are at the try line, (a) it was decided by the RAN official to set the try area five metres ahead of the goal post as a safety measure, in playing this game safety is paramount. (b)Both teams were notified, they walked the field and both teams a knew and their players should have known of the changes made.”
In terms of Saint Lucia position at present, Butcher said, “I am yet to see where we are ranked after this game; I will be speaking to the RAN officials to see where that defeat actually put Saint Lucia or whether we go forward to participate in any more 15 a side games.”
“We have enough players to play two 15 a side, last month we played two games versus Brown University of the USA; Saint Lucia is scheduled to play another 15 a side game in June against Deamar out of Martinique so it’s not the lack of practice it’s just an unfortunate situation for this game.”
He also gave The VOICE an update on the SLRFU playing field adjacent to the CCSS/Gablewoods roundabout. “The facility is 75 percent cleared and would like to clear the other 25 percent at the soonest. The clearing of the facility remain the biggest burden for the SLRFU and once that is accomplished and the facility is grassed; then we will have an opening where we will have a designated home where all the teams will be able to practice.”
Was it a lease or the SLRFU intend to purchase the facility? Butcher said, “We approach the land area, the land owner agreed to let us used the place, there have no agreement to buy or anything like that. We are clearing it and we have the permission to use it.
You care to say who the land owner is? Butcher remains tight lipped when he said, “I prefer not to disclose.”
Meanwhile, the Saint Lucia Rugby Football Union congratulated Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on their victory, the Saint Lucia team for a valiant effort and warm wishes to all those who contributed to the successful hosting of the encounter.