Despite valiant effort, RAN 15’s finals title eludes Guyana once again
DPI, GUYANA, Saturday, July 29, 2017
The Rugby Americas North (RAN) 15’s title eluded Guyana’s ‘Green Machine’ once again, this time to the United States, as they went down 19-23. The game which was held at the National Park saw the two teams meeting for a second time in the finals.
Playing in difficult conditions, both teams started the game with enthusiasm and aggression. However, the US took an early lead after a scored penalty by Zach Miller in the 19th minute and a try by Hein Erasmus in the 29th, which had the Green Machine 8 points down within the first half hour.
The lead quickly stretched after Wayne Chermely made another try, taking the lead to 13 nil, 10 minutes before the first half ended. Coming out strong in the second half, the Green Machine gave up another penalty before efforts by the Green Machine’s Patrick King and Allen Crawford gave Guyana its first seven points.
Team USA quickly responded a scored another try and conversion which took the score line 23-7. Being down 23-7 did not stop the Green Machine from battling their way through the opposing team. They’re efforts took the score to 19-23 after back to back tries from Osie McKenzie and a conversion from Godfrey Broomes.
Captain of the Green Machine Ryan Gonsalves speaking with media operatives after the game said that he was proud of his team’s performance despite not being able to lift the title. “That’s how it goes some days. You win some and you lose some, but I think if we had taken our opportunities early, we probably would have won this by one or two points but it was tough luck for us today”, he stated.
Gonsalves feels the team can reach much further is they are given the right kind of support, both from the government and the private sector. According to Gonsalves, leading up to the game, there was need for proper training facilities among other things that would have probably given the them a much better chance against their overseas counterparts.
He explained that, “We just hope that Corporate Guyana, and everyone, could come on board and really put the resources to us. We are capable of bringing home trophies. Just give us the support that we need…It is about time they put us in front. We are a champion ship team and we are second every year (at the finals) and we need the support… every year I do not know how we do it but we just keep digging deep. We play this game for the love and we keep winning so, so if we have the right support then we are going to have the unity and we could do much.”
Head Coach of Team USA Rene Daniel congratulated the locals for putting up such a tough fight and bringing out the best in his team. The title was won, he noted, because the team was hungry for a win after they lost a few years ago with a come-from-behind 30-27 win in an encounter with the Green Machine.
By: Isaiah Braithwaite