An exciting encounter that ended in a 24-20 victory for Renegades over Emperors was the feature attraction of a double-header as action continued in the Barbados Rugby Football Union over the weekend.
Things got off to an enthusiastic start with Renegades’ danger man Aidon Rogers and the determined Tahir Niles putting their team on the board in the early stages.
Brandon Walcott, the talented young kicker from the national Under-19 squad converted both tries with confident conversion kicks to take the score to 14-nil in favour of Renegades.
Undaunted, the Emperors responded in kind, showing their mettle, with a well-orchestrated try by Kareem Lashley, although Nick Daniel’s conversion attempt was no good.
Moments later, Ramon “Juice” Downes, an experienced national seniors player, stormed through a porous Emperors’ defence to extend the Renegades’ lead to 19-5, again with a failed conversion attempt. The gusty winds may have had an adverse effect on that aspect of the game.
Kenneth “Kaipee” Payne set up Downes’ next scoring attempt and took the Renegades’ lead to 24-5.
Emperors’ captain Jeren “Blinki” Clarke decided to lead by example and in his trademark bulldozer style, changed the momentum with a dramatic try. Nick Daniel’s drop kick conversion meant that the half-time score was Emperors 12-24 Renegades. As the Emperors would have it, that was the end of Renegades’ scoring.
The second half belonged to the Emperors, scoring-wise. National Under-19 scrum half Mikyle Walcott got things going with a brilliant pass to Under-19 team-mate Omar “Drogba” James, who in turned passed off to big Christian Preece, who simply overwhelmed the Renegades defence. The momentum never quite swung back to the Renegades as the Emperors’ defence held rock solid.
It was a hard fought match and showed the rapid improvement of the youthful Emperors, easily the youngest team in the league, comprising many of the current Under-19 players.
The second match featured top of the table Scorpions against the Development Squad.
Somewhat surprisingly, considering the wealth of experience on the older Scorpion side, the Development Squad got on the board first, with a rapid fire sequence that ended with a try by Biko Beckles. The conversion was no good, Development went up 5-0.
National squad speedster Sean Ward, working in tandem with Stu Copeland, put the Scorpions firmly in control with a 14-12 half-time score.
With the light fading, the Development Squad found themselves on the back foot, as the defending league champions applied pressure relentlessly.
Despite some bruising encounters and numerous line outs, the full time score was the same, with the Scorpions narrowly defeating their feisty opponents.
The next game will be a night fixture on October 26 with kick off scheduled for 7 p.m. under the lights.