Reigning league and knock-out champions Caribs RFC began its defence of the T&T Rugby Football Union Toyota Champions Division league title, with a comprehensive 27-12 win over rivals Stag Trinidad Northern, on Saturday evening. Caribs managed its proud feat playing at their opponents’ sanctuary, the President’s Ground, St Ann’s, which saw the “Beer Boys” cop the Robert Farfan Memorial trophy in the process. Andre Cabrera and Ryan Brown scored the two tries for Caribs, with Don Rojas converting the former’s effort, while Ronald Mayers and Ryan Fredericks scoring the tries for Northern, which saw the two teams tied 12-12 at the half. Justin McLean converted Frederick’s try.
Caribs came out the stronger team for the second half and sealed the victory with a further three tries from Richard Staglon, Ronald Silverthorne and Ryan Brown, though none of the tries were converted. The win put Caribs on five points, four for the victory with a bonus being awarded for scoring four or more tries.
Speaking after the match Caribs’ coach, and former national player Brendan O’Farrell expressed relative satisfaction with the performance, while admitting that the result was a good one. “The play was a little sloppy, but we expect to improve as the season continues. It’s only the first match of the season,” said O’Farrell. Caribs, which won the 2011 season by a narrow three points ahead of Harvard, began well with a 19-7 win over Northern, again taking the Robert Farfan Memorial trophy in the process. Again, in the second leg of the league fixture, which was staged on the final day of the season, Caribs went on to win the match 13-10, which ultimately saw the team win the title.
On Saturday, Harvard also won big and received an extra point with a crushing 36-12 victory over Rainbow, while Royalians made light work of Police, 44-5. Playing at home, Harvard got tries from David Gokool at either side of the half, with Jake Hiscock, Wayne Kelly and Alex Miers all adding with tries of their own. Ryan Hinckson whipped in a hat-trick of conversions. Jerome O’Brien also converted one try.
Kenton Silverthorne scored one of two tries for Rainbow, which was converted by Anton Celestine, with Edison Daniel touched down for the other. For Royalians, James Phillips scored three tries, while Samuel Skeete got two. Mark Roberts and Trizine McClean scored one each. Kelson Figaro also converted three of the efforts. Caribs, Harvard and Royalians would end the first match day of the season leading the standings with five points each.