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VI lose NACRA Men’s Championship opener to SVG

May 19th, 2014 | Tags: NACRA SVG rugby Sherlock Solomon Tom Chapman
Tom Chapman goes over to score in the second half to pull the VI back into the game. Photo: Charlie E. Jackson/VINO
Donovan Staples scores late on to give the VI some hope of snatching a late victory in the 24-22 loss to SVG. Photo: Charlie E. Jackson/VINO
Donovan Staples scores late on to give the VI some hope of snatching a late victory in the 24-22 loss to SVG. Photo: Charlie E. Jackson/VINO
some tough tackling was evident throughout the game, but the VI gave away to many turn over balls. Photo: Charlie E. Jackson/VINO
some tough tackling was evident throughout the game, but the VI gave away to many turn over balls. Photo: Charlie E. Jackson/VINO
SVG were allowed to break the shackles too often and launch counter attacks. Photo: Charlie E. Jackson/VINO
SVG were allowed to break the shackles too often and launch counter attacks. Photo: Charlie E. Jackson/VINO
SVG ran out 24-22 winners of the first match in group play leaving the VI an uphill task to qualify for the next stage. Photo: Charlie E. Jackson/VINO
SVG ran out 24-22 winners of the first match in group play leaving the VI an uphill task to qualify for the next stage. Photo: Charlie E. Jackson/VINO
SVG celebrated like a cup final, but it’s only the first match of three in group play, with games against St Lucia and Curacao to come. Photo: Charlie E. Jackson/VINO
SVG celebrated like a cup final, but it’s only the first match of three in group play, with games against St Lucia and Curacao to come. Photo: Charlie E. Jackson/VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – The VI lost its 2014 NACRA men's team rugby tournament opener suffering a 24-22 defeat at the hands of St Vincent and the Grenadines on Saturday May 17, 2014 at the A.O. Shirley Ground.

The match, the first in Group play that also includes St Lucia and Curacao was tight throughout, but the home team kept on making too many errors and was unable to sustain pressure on the Vincentians who gained a 12-5 half time lead.

Seemingly each time the VI began to build pressure deep in the visitors half they gave the ball away or were penalized for ill disciplined play. Twice they had tries disallowed, one for a knock on and one for a forward pass, which otherwise would have given them a much more comfortable half time talk from Coach Sherlock Solomon.

Despite a more disciplined start to the second half, the BVI found themselves going further behind when St Vincent got its third try in the 61st minute from Dugal James for a 17-8 lead.

Then finally stung into some more decisive action the VI began to claw themselves back into the game with replacement Tom Chapman, scoring in the 68th minute to make it 15-17.

St Vincent would get its bonus point try in the 75th minute as Kemi Francois crossed for a converted try and a 24-15 score.

The VI pressed hard late in the game with another score from Captain and outside centre Donovan Staple in the 76th minute. With the conversion, the home side was two points adrift at 22-24, but it was a gap that they could not breach.

Afterwards Solomon rued the poor handling and lack of sustained pressure. “The turn over balls made us pay dearly” he said. “Rugby is all about building pressure, the more pressure you apply the more you can score, but when you turn over the ball and the opposition counter attack it causes problems. In the second half we played a more forward game, slowed down the game, but still should have done better. We had a Penalty late on which if scored would have given us a win, but they decided to run the ball and nothing came of it,” said Solomon.

Solomon also added that the VI is now in a win/win situation as they have a second group encounter against St Lucia and then, if they can win that one a do or die match up against Curacao.

Until then it’s back to the training ground and some hard work on ball handling, decision making and fitness levels.

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