GUYANA’s 15’s Rugby Team captain Ryan Gonsalves was hailed a hero after his penalty kick that scored in sudden death saw Guyana defeating defending champions USA South to win the North American and Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) 30 – 27 yesterday in Atlanta Georgia.
Reports reaching Chronicle Sport stated that the Guyanese, known as the ‘Green Machine’ had to play from behind, after trailing 24 – 8 at half time.
Rugby fans who turned up at the Life University Rugby Complex in Marietta, Atlanta, Georgia saw Guyana winning on sudden death to hoist their first ever NACRA 15’s Rugby title in dramatic fashion.
According to information received, Gonsalves converted a penalty after a Claudius Butts try just at half time but the Guyanese ‘ruggers’ still trailed their USA counterparts considerably.
An early second half try by Vallon Adams which saw the captain Gonsalves making good of the conversion sparked a Guyanese come back and the score board read 24 – 15, still in favour of USA South.
As the game progressed, Butts and Adams would carry out relentless attacks on USA South’s defence but as the game progressed Gonsalves missed what would’ve been a potential game winning conversation, and time ran out as full time, the scores were deadlocked on 27 points.
The two teams then went into the two halves of 10 minutes extra time and still a winner could not have been decided sending the game into a ‘score first and win’ situation.
USA South gave up a penalty to Guyana and Gonsalves one of the most experienced player on the team, stepped up and nailed the kick and the rest was literally history.
It was a well deserved win for the team who almost didn’t make it to the championship due to lack of funding, but thanks to NACRA who paid the team’s airfare to Atlanta, the Green Machine was able to reach to Atlanta.