The Barbados Rugby Football Union kicked off their domestic Sevens Season at the Garrison Savannah on the weekend, with Renegades proving the team to beat which no one could manage.
Under bright blue skies, the Renegades and Tridents started the first of six scheduled round-robin matches with Renegades emerging 26-12 victors.
Tridents’ Jae Bowen put them on the board with his usual speed but Renegades responded quickly with a try from Mitchell Morris, and tries plus conversions from brothers Brandon and Darien Walcott the score at half time to 19-7.
Renegades’ defence was rock solid in the second half, allowing only one try from Antonio Gibbons, while Darien “Duckhead” Walcott showed his agility once again with a try plus conversion that sealed the game.
In the second game featuring Scorpions against Emperors, there was very little sting in the Scorpions as they were demolished 36-12 in a surprisingly one-sided affair. In the first-half Emperors’ Kriss Carrington (U-19), John Melville and Abdeel “Snipa” Giles scored tries. Jeren “Blinki” Clarke also converted twice and the half time score was 19-0.
During the second half, Scorpions hammered away at their opponent’s defence and were eventually able to post a try from Kevyn Murrell and a try and conversion from Dario Stoute. Undaunted, though, Emperors’ Enrique Oxley, ably assisted by his teammates Marty Campbell and Kriss Carrington, scored two tries, while John Howell made his second of the match. “Blinki” Clarke’s successful kick later settled a game that had long been lost by Scorpions
In match number 3, Emperors had to face the well-rested Tridents, who seemed determine to compensate for their earlier defeat, displaying an impressive physicality and speed. The Tridents would dish out a 36-7 thrashing.
The lightning quick Jae Bowen got away from defenders with ease to post two tries and three conversions for Tridents, while Omar Bynoe used sheer brute force combined with impressive agility to get his first try, and Leandro “Ice Man” Bynoe’s trademark slippery style added another try and two conversions to the score.
“Snipa” Giles’ try plus conversion put seven points on the board for the sadly disappointed and well-beaten Emperors.
Scorpions then faced the rampant Renegades in an exciting and very tense display of rugby sevens skills that went to Renegades 19-12.
Renegades’ Brandon Walcott and John-Shane “Cracker John” Howard (former national U19 teammates) brought the fight right to their opponents, who returned the favour with enthusiasm.
Walcott scored two tries and two conversions. National player Dario Stoute used his speed and agility to score two tries and a conversion to tie the score at 12 points each. But the fired up Walcott scored late in the second half to deliver a second loss to the Scorpions for the evening.
The fifth battle of the evening would test the stamina of the Renegades as they opposed the now fired up Emperors but still managed to emerge 19-14 winners in a thriller.
The action was fast and furious with the Walcott brothers combining for a try and conversion that was quickly countered by Emperors “Snipa” Giles’ try and kick. Half time score was seven points each. Things got very tense in the second half and Renegades’ “Duckhead” Walcott was yellow-carded by referee Rommel Parris.
But brother Brandon forged ahead with impressive speed to add another 12 points for his team, including a last minute try that snatched the victory away from the Emperors much to their chagrin.
The final match of the afternoon was played as the sun set and the shadows lengthened, with Scorpions finally managing to eke out a 14-7 victory against the Tridents.
Stoute and Kevin Carter combined for a try and conversion, for a halftime score of 7-0 to the Scorpions. The tireless Jae Bowen evened the score in the second half, but a rapid fire Scorpions sequence led to a try by Kevin “Flakes” Cobham and acsuccessful conversion kick by Bryan Cummins to lift their team to victory as the night fell across the Savannah.
Sevens action resumes in two weeks, with XVs taking the pitch this Saturday at 4 p.m.