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Nov 27, 2018

The First International Friendly Rugby Match Between Belize and Guatemala

Rugby may not be as popular a sport in Belize as soccer or basketball, but it is picking up traction among certain pockets of sports enthusiasts.  Over the weekend, the Belize national team participated in an international friendly match with a visiting team from Guatemala.  It was the Eagle’s first try in an international game, after the national team was formed two weeks ago. News Five’s Duane Moody has the highlights fourteen-minute game.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

It was all about rugby on Sunday at the Marion Jones Stadium in Belize City. Various teams from across the country converged for a packed day of matches as the national champions were determined amongst the seven teams currently established since the gentleman’s sport was reintroduced back in 2015. But the highlight of the day was the international friendly match, the first of its kind in the Jewel between the Belize national team, the Eagles and the Guatemalan Jaguars. After fifteen minutes of play, which included a one minute half time, the Guatemalan team came out on top.

 

Josue Garcia

Josue Garcia, Captain, Guatemalan Jaguars

“I think that Belize is a hard team. We trained so hard for this match but it is difficult to play against a team that never play other days…so that is the biggest problem.”

 

Duane Moody

“You guys won just now; how do you feel?”

 

Josue Garcia

“It’s okay because we win the match…but it is not the purpose of the team.”

 

After the first match, team Belize lost by two points. While it is no secret that the national rugby team had only three weeks to prepare, Captain Adrian Tillett explains what happened.

 

Adrian Tillett

Adrian Tillett, Captain, Belize National Rugby Team

“It’s frustrating especially because most of the guys, the guys right behind them are really fast but they chose to hang back and wait and preserve their energy for the next play instead of chasing down the ball. So that is very frustrating for me, but at the same time it shows how much we gotta grow as a team especially in terms of our level of fitness.  If our guys were as confident as they perceive themselves to or speak of themselves of to be, they would have chased down that ball, got back up, sprung back and got us the win.”

 

Referee for the international friendly was Lee Bryant. With over a decade refereeing and years of experience as a player, she says that both teams are on a great path of mastering the sport – but there is need for the teams to learn the rules of the game.

 

Lee Bryant

Lee Bryant, Referee

“I had no idea of what to expect when I came down. I had seen some games on YouTube, but you never really know until you get here. I heard Guatemala was pretty good, but also the fact that this is the first time that Belize is playing, I am actually really impressed.  There’s a lot of really good athletes out here and I think that Belize will do well. They gotta work on some of the specifics, but they have the athletes, they have the desire. And Guatemala is a good example of how rugby is growing in Guatemala; they are fit and they are organized. And so you see how these basic skills that every team needs to get better. I had no idea what I would see when I came down here, but I love it. I am having a really good time and the teams have been really fun. There’s a lot of direction going on and stuff, but they are listening and learning. Evening during the day, they got better.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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