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Bermuda target first win in RAN tournament

Surging into enemy territory: Bermuda centre Hadleigh Tucker, with ball in hand, tries to break down the Cayman Islands when the two teams met on May 18 (Photograph supplied)

Bermuda coach Brian Archibald has challenged his players to focus on enjoying the game when they face Bahamas in a Rugby Americas North Men’s XVs encounter at North Field, National Sports Centre, this afternoon.

Archibald’s side have come out second best in the two matches they played so far in the competition. They started with a 44-12 defeat at home against the Cayman Islands, who are coached by Jamie Barnwell, the former Bermuda coach.

In their last outing, Bermuda lost 19-14 away to Jamaica. They showed great determination to fight from 19-0 down at the break.

Bermuda need to win against Bahamas to maintain their slim hopes of progressing through to the next stage of RAN's three-year qualification pathway.

“All we can try to do is build on our performances from the last two games,’’ Archibald said.

“We got a little bit better against Jamaica, again there’s things that we want to work on. It’s not going to be perfect, we just want to see a little bit of improvement, the players must perform, go out there and enjoy themselves.

“It’s going to be the last game they’ll probably play this year, so that’s the main thing. They must enjoy the experience, if they get a win, they get a win, but it’s performance we’re looking for, not results as such.

“The results will come if they perform, that’s all we’ve been trying to focus on for the past six weeks.”

Looking back at the match against Jamaica, the Bermuda coach felt that they had a great opportunity to come away with a win.

“We had chances at the end to win that game against Jamaica,’’ he said.

“It’s all about if those chances come around again, we learn from the mistakes. We execute and take those chances, that’s allowing us to show some progression.”

Archibald and his assistant, Chris Naylor, have named what they believe is the team to finally pick up a win.

Aldon Campbell, captain Thomas Greenslade and Allan Steynor will scrum down in the front row. Locking the scrum are Aldo Campbell and Nathan Wilson and the back row is Jake Fields, Jamie Baum and Brynley Toms.

Brandon Sangster, the youngest member of the team, is the link between the forwards and backline at scrum half and his half-back partner is fly half Robyn Brickell.

Jahniko Francis and Khabir Dill are expected to provide some pace on the wings. Hadleigh Tucker has been chosen at inside centre, with Alex Brown on his outside, while Ja’kee Simons is the last man in defence at full back.

Mike Keyes, Grenville Lines, Darren Richardson, Jaime Furtado, Samir Tavarez, Malachi Paynter, Rory O'Kelly-Lynch, and Callum Maule should provide some impact coming off the bench.

“We’ve picked a team that we think can go out and do the things that we want them to do,’’ the coach added.

“We've also got some players on the bench that we know when we bring them on, they’re going to create an impact and raise the standards a little bit.

“We don’t want to have a bench that when we bring the players on, the standard drops. We want to make sure that when we bring players off the bench it’s when the players that started have gotten a little bit tired.

“The people coming off the bench must be able to raise that enthusiasm and get the performance to what it should be at the start.”

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Published June 01, 2024 at 7:59 am (Updated June 01, 2024 at 7:25 am)

Bermuda target first win in RAN tournament

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