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BVI lift NACRA South Zone Cup

The VI boys tormented the Curacao defense in the first half of the game on the dusty A.O. Shirley Ground on May 2, 2015. Photo: Charlie E. Jackson/VINO
The try that finally put the game to bed was long in coming, but fittingly came via a surging run by Austin Kiel, who had shown throughout the game a willingness and desire to take on his opponents with power and speed. Photo: Charlie E. Jackson/VINO
The try that finally put the game to bed was long in coming, but fittingly came via a surging run by Austin Kiel, who had shown throughout the game a willingness and desire to take on his opponents with power and speed. Photo: Charlie E. Jackson/VINO
What's a rugby game without the drags and dust rolls! Photo: Charlie E. Jackson/VINO
What's a rugby game without the drags and dust rolls! Photo: Charlie E. Jackson/VINO
That must have been a painful tumble! Photo: Charlie E. Jackson/VINO
That must have been a painful tumble! Photo: Charlie E. Jackson/VINO
A glimpse of the action. Photo: Charlie E. Jackson/VINO
A glimpse of the action. Photo: Charlie E. Jackson/VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI –Tries by Austin Kiel, Shomari Spencer and Noel Maxwell saw the BVI Men’s National Rugby team to an emphatic 19-0 victory over Curacao on Saturday May 2, 2015 at the A.O. Shirley Ground in Road Town, Tortola.

The teams were deadlocked atop the South Zone standings before the final game of the season, but it was the hosts that started with more intent, dominating their opponents in attack and denying them any space defensively.

First Half

Curacao did threaten to score in the dying seconds of the first half with a series of rolling scrums and mauls, but by that time the BVI were already leading 12-0 and in comfortable command.

The opening try of the game came inside the first ten minutes after a series of probing runs from the home forwards. Rory Thornton took a quick tap penalty and ran straight at the heart of the Curacao defensive, the ball broke and Spencer was the first to react picking up the loose ball, evading two tackles, and powering over the line to score under the posts.

Thornton made no mistake with the conversion and the BVI led 7-0.

Fifteen minutes later and after the ball had barely left the visitors half, another quick tap penalty from Thornton was fed out wide to Maxwell on the BVI left. He used his strength and speed to burst for the line and then also had the presence of mind to aim for the posts before scoring.

Thornton missed his conversion attempt, but the BVI had found a comfort zone at 12-0.

Apart from the final frantic moments of the first half when Curacao finally started to exert some pressure, the BVI stood firm and with quicker ball movement could have increased their lead.

Second Half

The second half was an error strewn affair with both teams guilty of wasting the ball and scrum after scrum followed by penalties and offside’s doing little to showcase the ability of the players on a tricky dusty surface on the A.O. Shirley Ground.

Once again, though, the BVI dominated possession with Kiel, Colin Campbell and Maxwell all going close to increasing the lead and the home side showing their fans that they no longer wilt in late stages of games, as they continued to deny Curacao space and constantly looked to score.

Decisive try

The try that finally put the game to bed was a long time coming, but fittingly came via a surging run by Kiel, who had shown throughout the game a willingness and desire to take on his opponents with power and speed. He broke several attempted tackles, shook off the last defender and scored under the posts to send the home fans and players wild with celebration, knowing they had pulled off a remarkable win to match those they achieved earlier against St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines to finally put BVI Rugby on the Caribbean map.

“We won and we won well!” commented Coach Sherlock “Solo” Solomon. “We could have scored more, but the defense was great, the guys settled into the game early and dominated proceedings. The youngsters were amazing and did a great job. Kiel and Maxwell were outstanding. Spencer showed his ability and we were always confident his speed would cause problems.”

“It was a team effort,” noted Spencer. “They motivated me to do my best and I’m pleased to have scored. Rugby is a big part of my life and impacted me in many ways; it’s a wonderful feeling to be a part of a winning side.”

Praises to the Coach

Kiel, covered in dust and mud, was quick to praise “Solo” for the win. “For us young guys to do as well as we did, it’s huge for us, huge for the future of the sport and for the BVI,” he stated. “We have been doing really well in the Youth programme and you have to give credit to “Solo” for his hard work, which is now starting to show its merit.”

The next game for the BVI was to have been a promotion/relegation battle with Barbados, who finished bottom in their group, which included Trinidad and Guyana, but with the Rugby World Cup on the horizon that is up in the air.

On this performance the Barbadians will be breathing a sigh of relief.

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