U.S. steamroll Guyana 49-3 to advance to World Cup By Leeron Brumell
Guyana Chronicle
December 15, 2003

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THE United States Under-18 national rugby team steamrolled Guyana 49-3, to win the three-way qualifiers and book the final spot for the Under-19 World Cup in South Africa, next year.

The U.S. playing a more aggressive game, found it somewhat tougher against the smaller Guyana team as they went around them for the first few minutes of play.

Vice-president of the Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU), Noel Adonis, said that Guyana lost because they did not stick to their game plan of ‘Going over, going around’ as they were smaller, thus the U.S. sought every opportunity to take the game.

The U.S. scored eight tries, three conversion kicks and one penalty in their total, while Guyana had one good penalty kick that put the three points on the board in the second half. The kick was taken in front of the goal area by Ryan Hinckson some 25 metres out.

The U.S. had totally dominated all aspects of the game forcing themselves onto the Guyanese at every opportunity as they drove towards the goal area with sheer strength and massive force.

Garret Rittenberg with two tries, Owen Jones, PJ Komogmnon, Aaron Fortin, Greg Smith, John Cernik and Nick Grala with one try each accounted for 40 points, while Jones had marked three conversion kicks and one penalty to add to the nine points.

The U.S. who will now represent the North American West Indies Rugby Association (NAWIRA) at the World Cup next year were the superior beings on the field as they ran over the Guyanese on their way to victory.

The U.S., because of their size and strength benefited from a few free breaks for the goal after driving through the Guyanese defence that weakened at times.

Guyana, however, did well defensively as they, on a number of occasions, effectively got the ball out of the danger zone to prevent the U.S. scoring any more against them.
Guyana’s Delroy Gordon at one stage was sent to the sin bin for a 10-minute penalty by the referee, thus putting his team under some amount of pressure as they were left to battle with 14 players midway through the second half.

At the end of the tournament, U.S. finished top of the table, with Jamaica in second and Guyana third.

Jamaica picked up the second spot as they lost by a slimmer margin than Guyana. They were beaten 40-nil, Guyana 49-3.

Don Ferrell, U.S. coach, said that they were very happy with the win.

“They’re a young team, I think they are now beginning to click and it’s been a great experience for them.”

An elated captain Brad Winbush echoed the coach’s sentiments.

“We’re looking for bigger things. The guys played with a lot of heart and determination, because we played as a team.”

The Jamaicans also praised the efforts of the U.S. team as captain Delano Thomas noted he was proud of their performance.

He said that his team did not do well in the tournament.

“We didn’t perform up to standard in the match against Guyana. It was nothing like what we usually play.

In the match against the U.S., we completely changed out strategy and that’s why they scored so many points against us.

Our hearts go out to them now, because they will be representing us at the World Cup and we wish them the best.”

Guyana captain Oscar Prince said that he was disappointed with the team’s performance.

“We could have done better; some calls were wrong because we were smaller so the referees could not see what was going on. We need more ‘poundage’ because the guys were heavier, but I’m still proud of my guys.”

He further added that most of the players on his team were fairly new and that with time they will improve.

The local rugby body presented medals to the teams, while also commemorating the hosting of the international tournament with the presentation of three plaques and medals to the teams.

President of the GRFU, Kit Nascimento, expressed his appreciation for the successful hosting of the tournament; the performance of the teams and the refereeing, which he said was of a high standard.

The qualifiers ran from December 12 to 14 at the National Park Field.