Coach Hawes hails Jamaica's 4th place finish at U-19 NACRA Championships
ROBERT Hawes, coach of Jamaica's male rugby team, has expressed delight at the team's fourth-place finish at the just concluded 2014 North American Caribbean Rugby Association's (NACRA) Under-19 Championships, held in Trinidad and Tobago.
Hawes was speaking to the Jamaica Observer shortly after the team's arrival at the Norman Manley International Airport yesterday.
"We had a little ups and downs, but overall I think that the team played really well and although I did want them to go all the way, I am pleased with their effort," he said.
Hawes also said that they had a minor setback in their preparations that might have contributed to their disappointed fourth-place finish at the championships.
"As for our preparations coming into the championships, it was not all that up there as we did not have enough tools to work with and also the lack of capital (money). So that was a minor blow for us, but we used what resources we had and just did what was needed to do.
"We did our best and our best got us to fourth place, I am really happy for that. It is an annual tournament and so we are going back to the drawing board from now and come next year it will be a different story," coach Hawes added.
Meanwhile, Samoi Smith, who was voted Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the tournament, said that he was surprised to win the award.
"I feel really happy, this was my first time winning something like this in my life. To be voted MVP, it is an awesome feeling right now.
"I was a bit surprised when I heard my name called for the award as there were a lot of talented players there who were playing well. But I just have to thank God and my team for the support," said Smith.
Captain Janeil Johnson said that he was happy with how his team played throughout the tournament.
"The tournament was spectacular and the team performed very well and I am just happy that we were placed in the top four, as that was a great achievement for us as a young team. We beat the Cayman Islands 24-18 in one of our games and that only speaks of our talent," the captain said.
Defending champions Bermuda defeated the British Virgin Island 34-7 in the final.