A BVI?National Team player throws the ball in bounds during a rugby match against Barbados at the A.O. Shirley Recreation Grounds Saturday afternoon. (Photo:?TODD?VANSICKLE)

For 60 minutes the BVI National Rugby Team looked like they were going to hold off Barbados and advance to the next round of the North American Caribbean Rugby Association Men’s 15’s Tournament at the A.O. Shirley Recreation Grounds Saturday afternoon.

“The BVI went into this game as the underdog,” Coach Sherlock Solomon said. “I think the guys put up a tremendous performance.”

The VI led for most of the match scoring within minutes of the start of the game. The team went into the half with a 13-5 lead, but Barbados worked its way back into the game during the second half to win, 19-13.

“We really pounded them in the first half,” Mr. Solomon said.

But he added that in the second half, the tables were turned and Barbados put the pressure on the VI side.

“We really survived and almost pulled it off in the last two minutes with a try,” the coach said. “It was a tough game and I think we surprised the hell out of Barbados — they didn’t expect a fight from a BVI team.”

See full story in the May 5 issue.