Green Machine shift focus to Olympic Qualifiers Our NACRA 15s loss is behind us – coach Theodore Henry
Guyana’s National rugby team before kick-off against Trinidad
Guyana’s National rugby team before kick-off against Trinidad

AFTER losing to Trinidad and Tobago last weekend which ultimately saw them surrender their NACRA 15s title, the Green Machine, Guyana’s national rugby team, have now shifted their focus to the Olympic Qualifiers. Guyana travelled to the Twin Island Republic where they contested the final of the South Zone in the North American and Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) Championship and fell 22-20 to their closest regional rival.

“I’m proud of the guys, honestly, and I’m not the type to complain about a game or a loss, but the referee did some terrible blunders. We asked for a review for some of the decisions that were made but the fourth official said nothing can be done,” said head coach Theodore Henry.
Reflecting on the loss, Henry explained that the game’s second try should not have counted since “the player became motionless and he moved again; the referee allowed him to play though it should’ve been a penalty and it was the second try and it kind of broke the team”.
“I’m very proud of the guys for putting up a valiant effort and I’m disappointed in the game. Seems like poor refereeing is becoming a trend now when we have to play them in Trinidad but with that said, we should have scored our conversions and that would have seen us through.
“But in all fairness, it was a very windy ground; even Trinidad had a hard time with their kicks, they only made one,” Henry emphasised.
Henry, speaking exclusively to Chronicle Sport, yesterday, said that though the game remains fresh on the team’s mind, the focus is now on having the side feature at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
Guyana will first have to get past NACRA’s best 7s Nations in the June 13-14 event in North Carolina.
The team competed at the 2015 Cathy Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens but failed to win any of their three games.
In their first game Guyana, the defending NACRA 7s champions lost 36-0 against Zimbabwe then 50-5 to Spain. The team showed a much better performance and fight but lost 36-24 against Tonga.
“The emphasis is to get the guys super fit and that will be key, as we are to compete against teams like the USA and Canada,” Henry said.
According to National Award-winning coach, the team will also have to work on their kick-off reception as well as their defence.
“Our defence in the win is a little weak. One of our key players who did it for us in Mexico (Patrick King) made a lot of rookie mistakes in Hong Kong so we’ll be working with him especially and the rest of the guys. The team’s defence and our kick-off reception as well as fitness; you can never be fit enough so we have a lot to do,” Henry pointed out.
He added that the union is in the process of lining up a few practice matches ahead of the Olympic Qualifiers and further information will be made known at a later date.

By Rawle Toney


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