JetBlue Barbados Men’s Rugby team finished third overall at the 2019 Rugby Barbados World Seven’s when it came to a climax over the weekend at Kensington Oval.
As the curtain came down on the fourth edition of the tournament, Barbados finished behind the Men’s Open Division Champions Atlantis from Philadelphia and runners-up Roots Rugby.
That bronze medal performance is Barbados’ best result ever achieved in the tournament having won three of five matches played. They were victorious against St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force and Dead Pelicans from North California.
The team lost to top two teams Atlantis who played all five of their matches undefeated and Roots who won four.
Barbados coach Joe Whipple said he was satisfied with how the team played especially against strong opposition like Atlantis.
“…We started two 17s and an 18-year-old, so we are by far the youngest team out here, so, it speaks well. The young boys I thought did a good job and thought our attacking was spot on. We made a lot of tackles, we wanted to build our defense and we did that. This team is progressing, and it is getting younger so that is a positive sign,” Whipple said.
On the second and final day of competition Barbados featured in two games. They went down to Roots Rugby 14-12 in the first game in what was a keenly contest exchange that turned out to be a heartbreaker for the home lads after a questionable call by the referee.
Barbadian defender Dario Stoute known for his speed and physicality was brought down by Darian Walcott of Roots Rugby, but the referee failed to reward a penalty.
Had the right decision been made and Barbados scored the penalty worth five points, they would have captured silver instead of bronze.
Despite that setback, the Bajan lads who came fourth overall last year, returned much stronger and hammered Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force 40-12 during their final encounter of the day.
A total of 16 countries from the Caribbean, United States of America and Canada competed this year.
Unlike the males who played a round robin format to decide the winner, the females had a championship match and American Rugby Professional Training Centre emerged champions 19-12 against Rugby Quebec. Third position went to LeadHership Angels of the United States.