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Domestic rugby resumes from hiatus

Teachers in action against Police in a women’s rugby contest. (File photo supplied)

Anna Hutchinson and Estienne Coetze led a rampant Police to a 34-5 thrashing of Mariners in a lopsided women’s contest, as domestic rugby made a welcome return at the National Sports Centre North Field on Saturday.

The pair each scored a hat-trick of tries to lead the charge, while Fiona Donaldson kicked two conversions for the victors, who virtually had things all their own way.

Apryl Jackson scored a consolation try for Mariners.

In the remaining women’s match, Renegades also encountered little resistance on the way to an equally convincing 22-5 win over Teachers.

Laura Pepper scored a try and kicked a conversion, while Amy Harvey, Jackie Oliver and Laura Davies chipped in with a try apiece.

Teachers replied through a Christie Halliday try.

The lone men’s league encounter saw a combined team of Renegades and Mariners players defeat Teachers 29-15.

Trae Stevens, Jamie Baum, Tom O’Healy and Alex Brown scored tries, while David Lunn kicked two conversions to lead the charge for the victors.

Teachers replied through Hadleigh Tucker and Mikle Dill, who each scored a try and kicked extra points.

Men’s and women’s league action was suspended after two rounds last month due to Covid-19 related reasons and low numbers among the clubs, with the Bermuda Rugby Football Union reverting to staging friendlies in the interim.

“The BRFU is really happy that the league is starting back up,” said Corrie Cross, Public Relations Officer at the BRFU. “Obviously due to Covid and the new year travelling plans, it was kind of hard to get full teams out.

“But now we have a more consistent league and we have games coming every week. All the players are really excited to get back to regular scheduled programme and have more regular games coming up and building that momentum throughout each week.

“We are also looking forward to the women who are doing some training and getting their league back up and running. The contact women’s league has also started training as well, which is really exciting” Cross told The Royal Gazette.

Cross also underlined developments among young players and believes the return to action is serving as a tonic for the sport on the island.

“The youth players’ league has training every Sunday, so the young children can go out and train and get some exposure to rugby in a controlled and safe environment of course.

“Overall, Bermuda rugby is happening. It’s exciting; everybody is looking forward to it and there’s also the six-nations going in the UK in Europe, so that’s also providing a lot of buzz for the local rugby community,” said Cross.

“It’s all very positive and we’re all just really happy to be outside and doing something social as a group again. Almost feels like we’re back to normal but of course because of Covid and everything we’re doing everything safely.

“We’re still doing lateral flow tests on entry, people have to register before they come onto the pitch. Everyone has to be registered with Bermuda Rugby before they can play the game. All these things are measures that we are taking to ensure that the players are playing safely.

“It’s really exciting and we’re looking forward to next week’s games.”

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Published February 14, 2022 at 7:52 am (Updated February 14, 2022 at 7:52 am)

Domestic rugby resumes from hiatus

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