Guyana win thriller to take NACRA title

(IRB.COM) Monday 30 June 2014
 
 Guyana win thriller to take NACRA title

Guyana have won the NACRA Championship 2014 title after a thrilling 30-27 extra-time win over USA South in Atlanta.

With the scores locked at 27-27 after a tension-filled 99 minutes of play and the final set to be decided by a kicking contest, up stepped Guyana scrum half Ryan Gonsalves to land what proved to be the match-winning penalty.

The result was hard to take for Northern Championship winners USA South and, in particular, their centre Matt Hughston, who scored a first-half hat-trick - in addition to a try from number 8 Brendan Smith - to help his side into an early 24-3 lead.

Crucially, Guyana clawed five points back just before the break when Hughston’s opposite number, Claudius Butts scored to give them a foothold in the match.

Guyana picked up where they left off after the re-start and lock Vallon Adams forced his way over for a try which Gonsalves converted to make the scoreline 24-15. 

Guyana then lost winger Avery Corbin to a 57th-minute yellow card, but a Tom Snow penalty was all USA South had to show for their one-man advantage.

A few minutes after he’d returned to the field Corbin made amends for his sin-binning with Guyana’s third try before centre Theodore Henry’s try and Gonsalves’ subsequent conversion levelled the scores at 27-27 and took the match into overtime.

With play from both teams continuing to be scrappy and error-prone no further points were added until Gonsalves kept his nerve to win the match for Guyana.

Mex-factor!

Mexico finished on top of the North Zone Cup table with three consecutive wins after a dishing out a record 96-0 hammering to the Turks & Caicos Islands. They will now play a North division relegation/promotion decider against Bermuda, who lost both of their Championship matches.

Mexico ran in 16 tries, split evenly between the first and second halves, with centre Pascal Nadaud grabbing a hat-trick and scrum half Lucas Barbieri and wings Fharid Samano and Diego Ramirez getting a brace of tries apiece.

Jamaica finished runners-up to Mexico, with a 2-1 win/loss record, after winning 17-10 away to the Bahamas. As a result, Jamaica climb six places in the IRB World Rankings to 79th with the Bahamas down to 94th.

Barbados, who lost both their matches, will play table-topping Curacao in the South division relegation/promotion match. 

NACRA Championship 2014 Results 

28/6 USA South 27-30 (AET) Guyana; Bahamas 10-17 Jamaica; Mexico 96-0 Turks & Caicos
21/06 Curacao 41-12 British Virgin Islands; St Lucia 26-22 St Vincent & Grenadines
14/06 Cayman Islands 30-34 USA South
07/06 Guyana 15-8 Trinidad & Tobago; Bermuda 3-24 Cayman Islands; BVI 18-29 St Lucia; Jamaica 8-34 Mexico; St Vincent & Grenadines 12-19 Curacao
31/05 Bahamas 13-11 Turks & Caicos
24/05 Barbados 5-34 Trinidad & Tobago
17/05 Mexico 33-18 Bahamas; Guyana 48-19 Barbados; Turks & Caicos 6-10 Jamaica; St Vincent & Grenadines 24-22 BVI
10/05 Bermuda 6-33 USA South; St Lucia 7-56 Curacao