Bermuda played Mexico yesterday [July 14] in the plate final of the NACRA U-19 rugby tournament going down 18-10.
Mexico entered the tournament this year as one of the favorites after completing a month long preparation tour which took them to Canada, United States and Argentina. Mexico where hard done by in a narrow defeat to Cayman by two points in their opening match and everyone was expecting the Plate final to be a more entertaining match than the actual final which the players from both team lived up too.
Neither team would give an inch in the opening ten minutes with many hard tackles being put in by both sides. The first try for Mexico eventually came in after 3 powerful forward phases in the Bermuda 22 by the Mexican pack that lead to a well taken try. The conversion was missed, Mexico 5 – Bermuda 0.
Bermuda did not sit back and following quick ball off a 4-man line out caught by Lliam Nash, the ever present and MVP of the Bermuda squad, David Lunn went over for a great try next to the post. The conversion attempt was converted by Lunn making the score Mexico 5 – Bermuda 7.
Mexico struck right before the end of the first half with a series of fantastic ball passing that went across the entire width of the field that ended with the Mexican fulback scoring a try in the corner. The conversion was missed making the halftime score Mexico 10 – Bermuda 7.
Mexico started the second half the same way they ended the first half with very physical play upfront. The Bermuda team then made the mistake of passing the ball back into the 22 to kick for touch which allowed the Mexican forwards to exploit there well drilled catch and drive from there lineout and marched in from the 22 to increase the score to Mexico 15- Bermuda 7.
Bermuda then added the pressure at the breakdowns as the bigger Mexicans began to tire which lead to a penalty being taken by Lunn making the score Mexico 15- Bermuda 10. Bermuda then got another chance to add to the scoreboard with another penalty attempt by Lunn but the attempt fell just short from the halfway line.
Bermuda then gave an offside at the ruck leading to a Mexican penalty in front of the post which moved the score to Mexico 18 – Bermuda 10. Bermuda then had another penalty chance go wide with 5 minutes to go after the Mexican Outside Center was yellow carded for repeatedly using his hands in the ruck.
Not to go down without a fight, Bermuda’s back line went on the attack and could have scored with a minute to go if it wasn’t for the questionable try saving tackle by the Mexican lock on outside center Tristan Kermode. The ref blew the whistle ending the game.
Cayman Islands won the tournament beating Trinidad & Tobago 20-10.