Last update: 10-Dec-2013 12:37 am
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Rugby champ to be decided today Caribs seek win at Bruno Browne
Either Caribs Rugby Football Club will win the coveted T&T Rugby Football Union (TTRFU) Toyota Championship Division title today for the first time in two years, or GNC Gatorade Harvard will defend its crown successfully. The odds are stacked in favour of current leader Caribs, which is set to defend the Bruno Browne trophy-come-league-fixture, the single most anticipated match on the local rugby calendar against Stag Trinidad Northern RFC at the Queen’s Park Oval, Tragarete Road, Woodbrook from 5 pm. Harvard, which took a default win over Rainbow in the first leg, will also complete its league fixtures when it takes the trip south, to Gasparillo, to face the same team. Rainbow, however, has not picked up a single point this season.
There are several scenarios which may see either Caribs or Harvard take the title. Caribs, which sits above Harvard by a point will win the title with a bonus point regardless of the result in Gasparillo. The title may also come down to “goal difference,” which is currently in favour of Caribs. If Caribs wins, but not by a bonus point, and Harvard wins with a bonus point, the title will be determined by goal difference. However, if Caribs draws with Northern as was the result in the first leg (15-15) and Harvard wins its match, then Harvard will take the title. Northern last won the Bruno Browne in 2010, after defeating Caribs 15-13. A year later, in a scenario similar to today’s Caribs took the derby title and captured the Toyota Championship on the final day of the season with a 13-10 win, edging runner-up Harvard by four points.
Caribs then defended the Bruno Browne title last year, cruising to a 12-3 victory. However, its win could not prevent Harvard from taking the Championship Division title for the first time in its history. Today’s match will not be an easy test for Northern, which is already out of the running for the league title and is suffering with injuries to at least two of its key players, national captain and first centre Adam Frederick and fellow national and former captain Jonathan O’Connor, who plays a scrum half. The team will also miss touch tackling Guayanese Dillon Downer, who recently left the country. Coach Brendan O’Farrell’s Caribs is in better shape and has taken the league by storm after losing its only match of the season against Harvard (18-16) at the beginning of August. There isn’t a significant injury to note, giving Caribs the upper hand in a must-win encounter. Preceeding the Bruno Browne, both Caribs and Northern will meet in the Raffie Hosein Cup, which will see both teams fielding their Under-19 squads. The match will kick off from 3 pm. Previously, the Raffie Hosein Cup was also used as a Senior Division (second tier) league fixture, but Northern is without a Senior Division team this season.
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