|The Bahamas to face Bermuda on Saturday|
Guardian Sports Reporter
Published: Jun 05, 2012
A bonus point and a win by more than four tries is the only way The Bahamas men’s national rugby team can avoid missing their chance to compete in the Rugby World Cup.
The team can no longer contend for the North American Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) Championship, and the chances of advancing through the qualifying rounds for the Rugby World Cup 2015 are slim, after dropping its first match to the Cayman Islands. That defeat placed The Bahamas in a must win situation, in the game against Bermuda. The Bahamas will have to win convincingly to avoid relegation into the pre-qualification group.
The countdown to the game against Bermuda has already started, and Team Bahamas is making its final preparation. The game will be played on Saturday, at the Winton Rugby Pitch. This is the third game in the second round for countries in the north.
Play in that division started on May 19 with Bermuda taking on the Cayman Islands. Bermuda defeated Cayman Islands, 10-3. Seven days later, The Bahamas was defeated by the Cayman Islands, 27-7. According to Elystan Miles, board member in the Bahamas Rugby Football Union (BRFU), the Cayman Islands will still move on, despite that loss to Bermuda. He also noted that Bermuda is almost guaranteed to move on, no matter the outcome of Saturday’s game.
“We have to rip their legs off,” said Miles. “We have to get a bonus point and win the game by at least four tries. We are out of contention for the Caribbean Championship but we need to beat Bermuda to avoid relegation into the second group. We don’t want to drop down.
“We had a good team in the game against the Cayman Islands, but we weren’t strong enough. It was a heart-breaking loss. We have a young team so there’s always next year, but the positive part is that the fitness is up from previous years. The main difference is that Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, they play with expats and our team is Bahamian, so you never know who you are going to see.”
In the last meeting against Bermuda, The Bahamas lost 13-10. That game was played last year in Bermuda. Miles believes that the home field advantage should work in The Bahamas’ favor this time around. The Bahamas defeated Bermuda in 2005 and Miles is confident that they can do it again. He said the team is up to the challenge, even though they know it is not going to be an easy task.
Miles said: “Some of the players who were expected to travel to Cayman did not due to personal commitments and technical problems. Now that we are home I expect a better showing. We will have the fans behind us this time.”
The team will continue training for the game, which will start at 3 p.m. on Saturday.