By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
A more physical and fitter Turks and Caicos Islands Rugby team, dominated their British Virgin Islands counterparts after turning a 7-0 halftime advantage into a 31-12 victory on Saturday at the A. O. Shirley Grounds, in their North America Rugby matchup.
It was the second group victory for TCI, who stopped the Dominican Republic 24-20 at home. The BVI will face D.R in their next encounter.
Turks and Caicos dominated most of the game despite the 7-0 halftime score, before Gareth Butler scored on a try then converted, just as the break was being called. Kadis Simmons added a second try and Butler converted, improving the score to 14-0.
Noel Maxwell put the BVI on the scoresheet when he ploughed through the TIC defense, then Tim Parsons converted, making it 14-7. TCI would score three times more and Rory Thornton added a score for the BVI in the waning moments of the game for the 31-12 final score line.
“I thought it was an evenly contested first half and we controlled the ball, but I certainly thought the BVI backs carried a threat the whole game,” TCI Coach Simon Taylor told Island Sun Sports. “I thought 7-0 was a reflection of the first half. Our strike runners started making more of an impact in the second half—we had some big guys carrying up the middle—and the BVI players played their hearts out and did a lot of great tackles, but there were a few more gaps second half and opened up our ball and I thought I was a really good game.”
BVI coach James Vaughan said he thinks his team played well in the first half but didn’t execute in the final third.
“I think if we executed a little more, be a bit more clinical, we would have put more points up,” he said. “We had our own mistakes with two yellow cards that didn’t help us and scored out second try with a yellow card. We made too many silly mistakes. If we had 15 men on, I think the game would be slightly different.”
Vaughan said they have to work on their structure and game plan a little bit more and hopefully next time they will get a W.
He said they can play international Rugby but not with 13 against 15.
“That killed us and fitness as well,” he noted. “We have to work on that a little bit more, but I think we played well together.”