Caribs take lead as Northern pip Harvard
Trinidad Northern inflicted Harvard’s first defeat in the Trinidad and Tobago Rugby Football Union Toyota Championship Division on Saturday at Harvard’s Pitch III, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, edging out the defending champions with a literal last-minute kick.
James Walklin thumped in the decisive penalty just before the final whistle to give Northern the 15-13 upset victory, which saw 2011 champs Caribs climb to the top of the standings after their 41-5 humbling of Royalians at Savannah IV.
Harvard would be kicking themselves after eking out an 8-7 halftime lead, but they also had a penalty and a pair of unconverted tries missed by Ryan Hinckson, who is struggling with an aggravated injury.
The situation makes it all the more crucial for both teams in Saturday’s top-of-the-table encounter between them. Caribs, with a bonus point for their big win, now have 22 points while Harvard are stuck on 19. With four points for a victory, the winners of the match will take the lead if bonus points do not factor in.
Harvard had a conversion miss on a Joseph Quashie try in the first half against Northern, who went ahead when Walklin converted Dillon Downer’s try. But Walklin missed a penalty in that period and paid for it when Hinckson scored a penalty of his own.
Hinckson could not repeat with another penalty in the second half and also missed a conversion off a Claudius Butts try. In a tense match, Nor-
thern grabbed the points without Kwame Felix—who was ejected in the second half—thanks to Gordon Dalgliesh’s unconverted try, and then James’ penalty punt.
In the Second Division, Harvard rushed off to a 36-0 lead before completing a 67-5 trouncing of Defence Force while Caribs cruised past Invictus 46-10. The other result was UWI’s 17-0 shutout win over Tobago.
This weekend, while Caribs tackle Harvard at Savannah III, Royalians will meet cellar-placed Rainbow in the Championship Division, but that venue is yet to be confirmed.
Division II will see Caribs meet Defence Force and Invictus take on Police while Harvard travel to Tobago. Those venues have not yet been announced.