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The jubilant Laparkan Hornets team in St Lucia following their victory over the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force. Third and fourth from left respectively are Hornets President Charles Garraway, captain Troy Arjoon and second from right Most Valuable Player of the tournament, Theo Henry. (Photo courtesy of Laparkan Hornets)
St Lucia, badly in need of a tournament victory, fell short placing third overall among the six teams entered.
Following the preliminary round, St Lucia finished on top in Group A with four points. They beat Barbados 21-5 in their opener and tied defending champions St Vincent 7-7.
St Vincent ended up with four points in Group A after beating Barbados 21-14. Having lost earlier to St Lucia they ended second in the preliminary round with Barbados finishing third losing both their games.
In Group B Defence Force of Trinidad and Tobago won both of their first round games and finished with six points. They defeated Guyana 12-0 and went on the offensive throttling Martinique 27-0.
Guyana placed second in the preliminary round with three points beating Martinique 26-10. Winless Martinique finished at the bottom of group A.
In semi-final play St Lucia had their hands full against a Guyanese team which rose to the occasion in the playoffs. Guyana seemed to have saved their best for last. It was no contest as the team cruised to a 31-0 win over St Lucia.
In the other semi-final match-up the Trinidad Defense Force won a close one over St Vincent 17-14.
The plate final was a showdown between two winless teams-Barbados and Martinique. Barbados came out on top leaving their opponents with a disappointing 0-3 win loss record.
The playoff for third place was an exciting encounter as St Lucia held on for a 17-15 win over St Vincent.
The championship game was a battle royale between the big boys of Trinidad and a Guyanese team, smaller in size but superior in overall team quickness. No doubt you’re familiar with the expression “speed kills.”
It was certainly evident as Guyana went on to beat their heavily favoured opponents 15-7.
This rugby tournament was one of the biggest staged in St Lucia. It was well organised from start to finish with teams exhibiting a high level of play.
Although finishing third was not what he had in mind, president of the St Lucia Rugby Football Union, Colvis Samuels agreed it was a very successful tournament.
“The standard definitely improved this year,” he said. “I am happy for that because mediocrity is not something we tolerate.”
“St Lucia performed well,” he added, “but were simply outplayed in the semi-finals and out hustled by a gutsy Guyanese team with a strong desire to win.” (St Lucia Star)