Green Machine go down to Guadeloupe 19-5

RAN South Zone Men’s XV final…

By Timothy Jaikarran

The action continued in the RAN (Rugby Americas North) South Zone Men’s XV final with Guyana battling Guadeloupe at the Athletic Track Rugby Ground at the National Park in Georgetown.
Players from both sides could be seen running their drills as each team prepared for the fight of their life. Guyana had not faced Guadeloupe since 1999, but were hopeful that their new strategy of play would give them the desired result.
In a matter of minutes after the game commenced, Guadeloupe were the first to receive the opportunity of the game, but their hopes were dashed as Guyana defended their territory. Guyana pulled the ball down shortly after, and Guadeloupe were awarded a penalty kick, which was missed, thus giving Guyana a chance at the 22-metre line.
Both teams battled arduously, but the score remained 0-0 at the end of the first ten minutes. As time progressed and each team continued fighting for the early-point advantage, Guyana gave away yet another penalty, but conditions proved difficult for the Frenchman, and the second penalty was yet another flop.
In the 26th minute, with the score still at 0-0, Guadeloupe were about to score when the Guyana number 12, Rickford Cummings, received a yellow card for high-tackling Pierre Brun and received a 10-minute suspension. Things took a turn for Guadeloupe, and they booked their first points to lead by 5-0, as Pierre Brun scored his first try of the game.
Thabut Berthomieu then capitalised on his conversion to register yet another two points. The unexpected occurred, as Guadeloupe’s number 7, Victor Jung, made Guyana’s defense look feeble when he bypassed every player to take the score to 12-0.
Just as half-time approached, Guadeloupe managed to score 2 points off a conversion, compliments of Thibaut Berthomieu, to further dent Guyana’s hopes and place Guadeloupe in the leaders’ position with the score at 14-0.
At the beginning of the second half, Guyana needed to pull off a simple comeback as they were only 14 points behind. With the climate to their advantage, the Green Machine needed to show their true colours by going beyond their limit. Five minutes into play, Guyana upped the ante and started to play aggressive rugby, and Cloyd Prowell came extremely close to giving Guyana their first points.
Hugo Delabroy then dented the hopes of the Green Machine when he caused the score to move up to 19-0 in favour of Guadeloupe. While Guyana fought hard Guadeloupe ran through their defenses with ease.
But after minutes of trying to break Guadeloupe’s defence, Guyana finally found a proverbial ram in the thicket in the form of number 22, Oneil Charles, who muscled his way to take the score to 5-19 in the final five minutes of play.
For the Green Machine, the only thing that could have been done was to play out the game, as they were set for their 6th defeat in a row.
In the end, Guyana lost 19-5 to Guadeloupe. Despite so losing, they arguably played a better game that what they had played in the past.
Guadeloupe will now play Bermuda for overall championship honours as well as the right to play the loser of the Mexico versus Cayman Islands showdown in the latter half of the year. This will allow the victorious team promotion into the Americas Challenge Championships.
The Green Machine will now have to focus their attention towards the RAN 7 in the Cayman Islands, during the first week of July, 2019.