GRFU pleased with national team’s performance
…Henry, Arjoon praised
By Leeron Brumell
June 19, 2004
THE Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) has expressed the pleasure with the national team’s performance at the North American and West Indian Rugby Association (NAWIRA) World Cup qualifiers that was held in the Cayman Islands earlier this month.
And captain Theodore Henry and vice-captain Troy Arjoon came in for high praise from the GRFU and the West Indies Association.
Guyana despite losing two crucial games to Bermuda and Trinidad and Tobago in the Cup round on the opening day bounced back to win the Plate final defeating Barbados 29-15.
At the end of the tournament Guyana won five games and lost two.
President of (GRFU) Kit Nascimento said the national team had high hopes of winning the Caribbean Championship and possibly the qualifier, but noted it was a tall order to compete against the USA at this stage.
As a result of Guyana’s performance at the qualifier they have jumped three places to number three in the West Indies behind West Indies champions Bermuda and Trinidad and Tobago.
Guyana scored 142 points as against 54 scored against them by the teams they came up against and Nascimento thinks the results speak for itself.
“I think this is an excellent performance by any standards and it holds well for the future of Guyana’s rugby.”
By statistics, Henry scored six tries and had three conversions, Claudius Butts who also came in for praise scored seven tries, Kelvin McKenzie three tries, while Arjoon, Jermaine McAlmon and Albert LaRose each scored one try, while Ryan George had seven conversions.
Manager of the team Noel Adonis echoed Nascimento’s sentiments about the team.
Adonis added that the results give an indication of how the team performed and suggested that they played at a fairly high level throughout the tournament.
He said there was however a lack of consistency in the young team who are learning to recover from their mistakes.
Adonis opined that Guyana is going to be an outstanding team at the senior level in time to come and was also pleased with Arjoon, Henry and Butt’s performances on the island.
Henry and Arjoon were selected to play for the West Indies team in an Invitational professional competition that was held at the conclusion of the qualifiers.
Adonis and Nascimento shared the view that Butts should have also been included on the team for his outstanding performance but he had made a mark on the selectors’ mind for future reference.
Guyana was by far the youngest team with the majority of the players being under the age of 24, while four of the players were under the age of 20.
The administrators said that at least eight of the ten players on the team have a future in the sport and the exposure was crucial for their development in the future.
The GRFU took great pride in quoting from a report that the International Rugby Board (IRB) referring to Guyana and Henry’s performance…Guyana was the most colourful side and had in playmaker Theodore Henry, probably the player of the tournament. Their Plate win was fair reward for a team that took some time to blend, but once they found their pace, they were extremely exciting and enjoyable to watch.
The man responsible for Guyana’s preparations on the field was coach Sherlock Solomon.
“The coaching staff for the team had total confidence they could have done a lot more. We had concerns of them staying focused and there were hiccups somewhere along the line, but we are happy.”
Solomon said international coach David Hill had a good working relationship with the team and the advice he had to give at any stage was of worth.
Nascimento was high in praise for the 30 odd sponsors including the government who assisted in making the trip a success.
He said Guyanese International singer David Martins and his wife Angela also came to their aid in loaning them a car at no expense and even hosted the team for dinner at their home.
The GRFU president said they also spent a lot of time with the team and he is of the opinion that anyone who donates such time and effort to a national team is worthy of praise, since that commitment is crucial to the team’s development.