Saturday, January 20, 2018

Harvard face Royalians for TTRFU title


LOOKING FOR MORE: Members of Harvard Rugby Club celebrate here after winning the Marcus Minshall Trophy last weekend. Today, they go after the Toyota Championship league title.

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Harvard Sports Club can join Caribs Rugby Football Club and Trinidad Northern today as being the only winners of the Trinidad and Tobago Rugby Football Union (TTRFU) Toyota Championship in over two decades.

So dominant have Caribs been, that only their arch-rivals Northern have been able to beat the defending champions to the title in the last 22 years. The other teams confirmed on record to have won the Championship outside of Caribs and Northern are Royalians in 1975 and Roebucks (1990).

Ironically, Harvard, currently second and three points behind leaders Caribs, now need to get past fourth-placed Royalians from 4 p.m. at the Queen's Park Savannah's Pitch III to write their name on that list.

For Harvard, though, the match is as much about redemption as it is about history. Last year, Harvard were in a similar position, having upset Caribs to earn a one-point lead. But Northern did their biggest rivals a favour by whipping Harvard 21-10 on a marshy President's Ground outfield in St Ann's. Caribs then beat Northern to retain the Championship.

This time around, Harvard defeated both Caribs and Northern, and must now get through Royalians to pick up their second major trophy of the season, after snaring the Marcus Minshall Cup last weekend, their first major rugby 15s trophy.

Now in the space of a week, they have a shot at their second in the season-closing clash. But with Caribs three points ahead, only victory will suffice for Harvard.

Caribs have completed their season after thrashing Police last Sunday, and are waiting to retain the title should Harvard slip up against Royalians, a team they have beaten in both their encounters for 2012.

While that match is being played, Northern come up against youthful, Marabella-based Rainbow Sports and Cultural Club at President's Ground, also from 4 p.m.

Harvard can pick up more silverware in the Senior Division tomorrow, with Harvard II visiting UWI at St Augustine. A win will hand them an unassailable lead in the competition, with two outstanding fixtures left.