Former head coach wary of unknown Guadelope
Dennis Dwyer, a former Bermuda head coach, has warned the national team that they are walking into the unknown in their Rugby Americas North Championship final against Guadeloupe at the National Sports Centre today.
Having beaten Jamaica 43-14 in their campaign opener at the the same venue in March, Bermuda will be aiming to be crowned Caribbean champions for the first time since 2012, when they successfully defended the title they won a year previously.
Jamie Barnwell's side had expected a daunting trip to Guyana, who were highly fancied to overcome Guadeloupe in their respective regional encounter.
However, with Guyana suffering a shock 19-5 defeat, Bermuda were handed the major boost of home advantage.
It is that unpredictability which Dwyer believes could pose a big threat for the home side in their quest for glory.
“Guadeloupe are a complete unknown in many ways,” said Dwyer, who also held the position of president of the Bermuda Rugby Football Union, as well as serving as president and chairman of the West Indies and Bermuda Referee Societies.
“Being a French nation, I think France have started to put more funding into their rugby programme and that's why we are seeing this sudden improvement from them.
“They've had a sudden jump in form and results, and that tells you that all of a sudden they've got a better calibre of player involved and have become more of a force than before.
“That is a massive danger for Bermuda because you can only plan to a certain extent from the little that is available on them in preparation.
“I'm sure the coaching staff would have done all the research they can from the highlights that are out there against Guyana.
“It will make the encounter extremely exciting and interesting in many ways. Obviously, I know why my heart lies, but it is certainly an unknown entity.”
Dwyer also believes clinching the title would be an important milestone in Bermuda's recent upward trajectory under the new head coach.
“To be Caribbean champions again would be fantastic for the nation,” he added.
“Pathways are being opened up to big competitions and the only way to progress is to win the competitions you are in.
“Winning something like this will help open up the pathways to bigger and better things in the region and enable them to go farther.”