Wily Bermuda too experienced for plucky Brown
A Bermuda side, featuring a heavy sprinkling of senior players, dusted off their cobwebs with a convincing 48-12 victory over Brown University at the North Field last night.
Considering that they had not played together for four months, Roedolf van der Westhuizen, the Bermuda coach, believed that he could take a healthy portion of encouragement from their performance.
Bermuda's try scorers were Neville Zuill and Tommy Edwards, who both scored two, Dustin Archibald, Conor McGlynn, Guerhardt Lamprecht and Stephen Husbands.
Brown University, touring from Rhode Island for a second time in six years, enjoyed impressive back-to-back wins against Bermuda Under-19 and a Bermuda B XV this week, but were soundly beaten last night by a side with greater physicality and experience.
“[The team] was far from the side that we will play eventually, but I felt like tonight was a good step in the right direction,” Van der Westhuizen said. “I was just trying to use some different combinations ahead of the international season.
“This was the first time in four months these players have played together and I was very happy with the result. The result aside, the aim of game was to try a few things out and see where we need to be.”
Van der Westhuizen took charge of the coaching reins before last year's North American Caribbean Rugby Association Championship, replacing previous Lawrence Bird, who had led Bermuda to consecutive tournament wins.
In the absence of several key players and, perhaps owing to undercooked preparations, Bermuda finished bottom of the North Zone and have to qualify for the championships, starting with an away match against USA South on May 10.
“Getting the guys playing together is crucial for us,” Van der Westhuizen said. “Last season, we didn't have any warm-up games before the international season and that was hard to get our heads around.”
Bermuda take on Mexico away in a friendly match on April 26 before starting their championship campaign against USA South in Atlanta. They then face Cayman Islands on June 7 at the National Sports Centre.
Danny Saccoccio, a member of the Brown coaching staff, said that the touring team were delighted to leave Bermuda with two victories under their belts, considering that they lost all three matches on their previous visit.
“Bermuda has been a great host and the results have been a lot better this time around,” Saccoccio said. “The Bermuda national team are a bunch of skilled and fit players. We had a feeling tonight's game was going to be rough — and it was.
“Our guys can come away having played two solid teams and won both games, but tonight the Bermuda team had a bit too much for us. The experience on the other side was just the difference.”