For Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana there are plenty more steps to be taken on the road to Japan 2019 before the dream of representing the Americas at the Rugby World Cup becomes a reality
But neither side could have asked for a better start on their journey to the promised land with bonus-point wins against lower-ranked opposition in the Rugby Americas North Championship South Zone competition, which forms part of the RWC 2019 regional qualification process.
Defending Rugby Americas North champions Trinidad & Tobago kicked off their campaign with a 34-14 win over Jamaica at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, while Guyana, for so long the dominant force in this region, brushed aside Barbados, 48-17.
Up against a Jamaican side positioned 29 places lower than them in the World Rugby Rankings, Trinidad & Tobago quickly asserted their authority on the game with tries from Joseph Quashie, Omari Doyle and Captain Adam Frederick and three penalties from the boot of scrum half Johnasson Alleyne easing them into a 22-0 half-time lead.
Quashie wasted no time in scoring his second shortly after the restart and replacement kicker Leon Pantor added the extras to take the score to 29-0.
Late tries for Jamaica’s Antonio Baker and Orien Smith gave the scoreline some respectability before Kieshon Walker ran in a try from deep to ensure Trinidad & Tobago signed off in style.
CORBIN STARS IN GUYANA WIN
For the second season running, Guyana fell just short of scoring a half-century of points against Barbados.
Winger Avery Corbin grabbed a hat-trick and there were tries for Rickford Cummings, Dwayne Schroeder, Lancelot Adonis and Dane Parks. Scrum-half Ryan Gonsalves contributed 15 points from the kicking tee through five conversions and a penalty.
Guyana now face Jamaica on 21 May at the National Park Playfield, while Trinidad & Tobago take on Barbados.
No rankings points were won or lost by any of the four sides, meaning that Trinidad & Tobago remain in 43rd place in the table with Guyana 55th, Jamaica 72nd and Barbados 77th.
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