The 3rd day started much the same as the previous, with a wake up swim in the ocean, followed by the second cooking duty team getting a good breakfast on the go.
The bus was on time to head to a local school field for a very vigorous training session. The sun was beating down, but the lads really stepped up the tempo and there was a real buzz and sense of urgency amongst them.
The boys had just switched into competition mode, when some well deserved fun and socializing with the other teams was arranged. After a pool recovery at Bannnaquit apartments, a coach collected the team to head to Blackrock where there is a goat- racing stadium. Team “bought” their racing goats by being the highest bidder. The Esher boys had their eye on number 4 called All Colours. He looked like a strong racer. They won the bid and called on Billy Harding to race the goat, which is done by running along side with the goat on a lead. Unfortunately the winnings, which would have paid for the lads dinner, was not to be, and the team were satisfied with a respectable 5th place out of 10. The lack of shown ambition was only because the real fun was watching Billy hurtle uncontrollably along the 100 meter stretch.
That evening it was back to our favourite Italian for a team dinner and pizza yet again was the main choice. After dinner we turned in to get an early night before Saturday tournament day.
Alarm clocks were set for 06h00. The next duty team was in the kitchen by 06h30 to get some eggs and oats ready. Bags were packed, boots, gum shields and the lads were ready. A short walk to the bus meeting spot and they were on their way to Black Rock ground. The team knew what their opposition’s names were, but nothing about the standard or back ground.
The Pool B of 4 out of 16 Men’s teams, consisted of Esher Golden Lions, University of Guyana, Rainbow (select team from Trinidad) and Trinidad and Tobago Forces.
The Tournament was opened by a minute silence and a moving tribute to Nelson Mandela. The Carib Sevens Tournament was dedicated to his memory and players were urged to play in the "spirit that he would have wanted". A tournament representing different races and cultures from all over the world coming together.
First up at 09h20 the Esher Golden Lions faced University of Guyana. The ball was slippery for both teams as the humidity was high.
Final score : 29-7 to Esher Golden Lions.
Tries: Richard Smart (2) Jamie See (1) Alex Davolls (1) Ross Fowles (1) Freddie Strange (2 cons.)
By the time the second game had come around to play Rainbow, the conditions had changed drastically. Still warm the tropical rain pelted down. The Kick off time was 12h00.
Final Score: 29-7 to Esher Golden Lions
Tries: Jamie See (1) Alex Davolls (1) Ross Fowles 1 Tom Curtis (1) Freddie Strange (1 & 2 cons.)
The rain eased up slightly before the final days game at 14h40 against Trinidad & Tobago Forces.
Final Score: 58-0 to Esher Golden Lions
Tries: Dean Hartry (1) Billy Harding (1) James Clabburn (1 & 1 con.) Freddie Strange (1 and 2 cons) Rhys Howells (2) Ross Fowles (2) Tom Curtis (2 & 1 con.)
After a quick cold shower at the ground, the bus took the team back to Bananquit for pool recovery and some downtime before dinner at Bonkers down the road.
Tired bodies meant early nights. There is a big Sunday day of games. If the Esher Golden Lions go all the way, they would need to play another pool of 3, a semi final and final. Lots of energy will be needed, but they are definitely here to try to win gold and bring it home. Joining Esher Golden Lions in one of the main tournaments pools of 4 tomorrow, will be: Invictus and Harvard from Trinidad, and New York City, who in the summer played in the World Club Championship at Twickenham.