The Barbados Rugby Football Union started the new year with an enthusiastic showing for the first day of their season at the Garrison Savannah last weekend with Emperors trouncing Scorpions 43-7 and Renegades defeating Tridents 22-14.
The first match featured Emperors captained by Jeren “Blinki” Carter and Scorpions skippered by Dario Stoute respectively. Both young men are graduates of the vibrant rugby schools programme and members of the national senior squad, with multiple caps to their credit.
Emperors RFC drew first blood, mere minutes into the match with Romuald “Mou” Allard using his size, speed and skill against the opposition while the spectators cheered loudly. Simon Noble added the conversion to take the score to 5-0. The score remained almost embarrassingly one-sided as the Emperors swiftly piled on points with tries from David Burke and Nickolie Bonnett, and conversions from the reliable boot of Noble.
Spirited defence from big Scorpions Stephen Millar and Kevyn Murrell forced the Emperors to regroup and adjust their tactics, with Allard and Noble combining forces to add to the score. Scorpions mounted a vigorous counter-attack but were unable to get over the try line. Referee Karen “Kazza” Holmes was kept busy as the action was fast and furious. Mikyle “Honey Badger” Walcott, displaying his trademark speed and agility piled on another two tries for ten points, while Noble’s boot converted easily, bringing the score to 33-0 at half-time. The lopsided score really did not reflect the effort put in by the Scorpions, who were able to come close on several occasions but were unable to finish off an attack. Bryan Cummings, BRFU president Kenneth Payne, and Shane Taylor put in memorable efforts.
After the break, the revitalized Scorpions team took to the field and made their intentions known with a lightning quick runaway try from the fastest man on the pitch, Stoute. The conversion was successful and finally, Scorpions were on the board at 33-7. Not to be outdone, Emperors’ Ryan “Kiwi” Scott promptly upped the ante once more and the rout continued. Allard finished the match with a hat-trick.
The second match between Renegades and Tridents started with the former leading off the scoring with a series of rapid-fire phases that resulted in Ramoun “Juice” Downes scoring. Kevin “Shakira” Carter uncharacteristically missed the conversion. Undeterred, Tridents came roaring back with a hard-fought try from Romeo Mayers and conversion by Troy Grant. Both teams were fighting hard in a very physical match that saw the action rolling the length and breadth of the pitch, keeping referee Rommel Parris very active. The half-time score of Renegades 5, Tridents 7, accurately represented the strong defensive tactics of both teams.
Second-half action featured Jae Bowen and Leandro “Ice Man” Jordan of Tridents working together to put an additional seven rapid points on the board. Quickly, Renegades’ fast and tricky Brandon Walcott replied with a runaway try, but Carter missed the conversion kick once again.
Brandon Walcott made himself a nuisance to the opposition, enabling Carter to score a try that put Renegades ahead 15-14, then sealed the deal with another try and conversion.
The action continues tomorrow with Emperors taking on Tridents at 2:30p.m. and Scorpions against Renegades at 4 p.m.