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BVI battered & bruised by Curacao but not bowed!

The BVI came off second best 39-12, to a big and physical Curacao team in the NACRA 2nd round clash on the A. O. Shirley Ground on Friday February 16, 2013. Photo: Charlie E. Jackson/VINO
Dustyn Molver was involved in much of the home team's limited attacking opportunities but he scored 7 of the BVI's 12 point return. Photo: Charlie E. Jackson/VINO
Dustyn Molver was involved in much of the home team's limited attacking opportunities but he scored 7 of the BVI's 12 point return. Photo: Charlie E. Jackson/VINO
James Brienberg had a superb night of kicking for Curacao and is now looking forward to the challenge of Barbados in the 3rd round. Photo: Charie E. Jackson/VINO
James Brienberg had a superb night of kicking for Curacao and is now looking forward to the challenge of Barbados in the 3rd round. Photo: Charie E. Jackson/VINO
Rory Thornton is one of several up and coming youngsters in the team and showed glimpses of what an exciting player he is. Photo: Charlie E. Jackson/VINO
Rory Thornton is one of several up and coming youngsters in the team and showed glimpses of what an exciting player he is. Photo: Charlie E. Jackson/VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Curacao proved too fast, too powerful and too well organized as they romped to a 39-12 victory over the BVI in the North American and Caribbean Rugby Championship 2nd round on Friday February 15, 2013.

The first warning signs came as early as the second minute of the game when Curacao converted a penalty in front of the posts from the boot of James Brienberg. He would go on to miss another opportunity five minutes later and the home team found themselves having to defend deep with kicking the only option to relieve the pressure.

The speed at which Curacao were passing the ball, winning the scrums, and utilizing second phase ball, continued to worry the BVI and it was from another break down the Curacao right that led to the games first try.

A couple of half hearted tackles did little to stop the advancing forwards, Jimmy Peters made a last ditch attempt with a thumping block, but Vincent Piettersz  finally made the score, which Brienberg duly converted to make it 10-0.

Stung into action, the BVI came back strongly and finally began to win some loose ball and move it quickly out wide. One such move led to an opening score from Jerome Springette, who when released by Tom Chapman, sped half the length of the field, beating three tackles along the way and scored close to the posts. Dustyn Molver missed the conversion, but at least the BVI had reduced the score to 10-5.

However, despite the hosts keeping the ball around the half way line and making some headway into Curacao territory, it was the visitors who broke through to increase their lead. Piettersz again breaking through three tackles down Curacao’s right flank to score and Brienberg making no mistake with the conversion making the score 17-5.

That soon became 22-5 when Curtleyson Martis took advantage of a fumbled pass to score and then another try and conversion made it 29-5, but the BVI put the move of the game together just before the half time whistle which gave them some renewed hope and showed them what they can do when they play to their game plan and strengths.

Molver started the move just inside his own half feeding Donovan Staples, switching the direction of the play, Staples gave it back to Molver who then passed to Jimmy Peters, keeping the ball alive and surging into Curacao territory. Federico Zicari fed the ball out wide to Rory Thornton who slipped past his first defender and out sped two more before being stopped a few yards short of the line. Edward Vasquez did his best to recycle the ball, but Curacao had time to recover, re organize and hold firm as the referee blew for the break.

The second half was a much better performance by the BVI as they finally began to assert some authority on the match and the visitors, if not actually create too much in terms of scoring opportunities. As it happened Curacao would break the deadlock when Sevan Ekker scored and Breinberg converted to make it 36-5, but it came as a relief for Curacao who had been under the cosh especially from the lively Springette and the determination of Molver.

The pair combined down the left with Springette bursting clear only to be brought down on the 22 yard line. Curacao regained the ball, tried to break, but “knocked on” the ball. From the Scrum, which was one of the few the BVI won, the home team used a rolling maul to gain some yards, but again Curacao held firm and eventually the BVI were penalized for an infringement and the visitors cleared the danger.

Springette had shown all game he had the speed to cause problems, but never really got the ball in the right positions. “Their defense was really tight, whenever I got the ball and a chance to run it seemed like I was surrounded and support was too slow in arriving.”

With time ticking away, Brienberg added 3 more points to the score, making it 39-5 and then Molver was rewarded for his efforts with a lovely jinking run and score, which he converted himself, to at least put the BVI into double figures at 39-12.

“It’s always great to score and add to the team’s points,“ stated Molver. “Unfortunately we didn’t get good balsl as we normally do, we couldn’t play in their half. They were very organized and fit; they kept us on the back foot all night."

Brienberg claimed it was just a lucky day but his kicking had been exceptional “I focussed, like tunnel vision, I look at the target, imagine where I want the ball to go and just hit it!”

The referee ended the game as the ball went through the posts on the conversion and Curacao started to celebrate with singing and dancing. The BVI trudged off knowing they had been beaten by the better team on the night, but each time they have played in the NACRA Championships they have got deeper and deeper into the tournament and with continued improvements and experience they too will soon have a chance to be celebrating.

They had a brilliant first half, said Coach Sam Solomon. “They broke some soft tackles to make scores and we dug ourselves a big hole. Going forward we need to secure the ball better in the tackle and recycle it quicker.”

Ronan Kuczaj of the BVI Rugby Union was impressed with the size and speed of Curacao. “That’s a pretty big physical Curacao team and our boys learnt a lesson today. Rugby is a hard aggressive game and you have to make your tackles and front up, we didn’t do that today. We have some exciting youngsters coming through, but what we need is some big lumps, some big aggressive guys who want to learn the game.”

Curacao will now face Barbados in the 3rd Round with the winner joining Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago in the next stage of qualifying.

8 Responses to “BVI battered & bruised by Curacao but not bowed!”

  • Sun (16/02/2013, 10:02) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    oh no!
  • Curacao boy (16/02/2013, 13:32) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Congrads to Curacao and BVI for playing. We are both developing rugby countries. As you may know it is hard for small island nations to play Rugby (Financially and players). But we will get there. We have improved a lot these last years and if we continue we will become better. We hope to see BVI Rugby play some games here at Curacao.
  • big girls rules (17/02/2013, 03:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    crocodile tears for the bvi team!
  • Cue (18/02/2013, 11:15) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    You go curtleyson Martis, im sooooooo proud
  • Cue (18/02/2013, 11:15) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    You go curtleyson Martis, im sooooooo proud
  • big joe (19/02/2013, 14:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    BVI should claim the match. Curacao cheating with players.
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