The Bermuda School Sports Federation hosted the annual primary flag rugby competition at the National Sports Centre on Wednesday 27th February, 2019. The event featured boys and girls from primary school across the island playing in the popular non-contact version of rugby, where tackling is replaced by the pulling of flags from belts worn by the ball carrier.
Saltus entered two teams in the boys division, where teams were assigned to groups for the preliminary round matches before advancing to a knock-out stage of the tournament.
In the boys’ tournament, Saltus Red were grouped in pool A with Northlands Primary, Prospect Primary and Warwick Academy Kodiaks. The Saltus Red team would win their matchups as follows:
• Saltus Red – 8 vs 4 – Northlands
• Saltus Red – 9 vs 2 – Prospect
• Saltus Red – 10 vs 6 – Warwick Kodiaks
The Saltus White team was grouped in pool C along with Harrington Sound, East End, and Victor Scott. The Saltus White team would also go undefeated in their matchups with the following results:
• Saltus White – 6 vs 2 – Harrington Sound
• Saltus White – 8 vs 4 - Victor Scott
• Saltus White – 8 vs 5 – East End
The Saltus Red team received the bye to the semi-final round as pool A winners, and the Saltus White were paired to play against Somersfield Academy in the quarter finals. Saltus White would maintain their form to defeat Somersfield Academy by a score of 8 to 4, to create an all Saltus matchup in the semi-final with Saltus Red pitted against Saltus White.
During the semi-final, the younger Saltus White team would take a 2-0 lead on try conversions from Johnny Bart (5R) and Declan Reardon (5D) before Isai Gibbons (6M) would equalize with back to back conversions. Ramsey Soutter (6O), Dylan Cooney (6O) and Aidan Kelly (6O) would give the Saltus Red team a 3 point cushion as they converted tries to help their team take control of the match. Tom Hyland (5S) and Michael Burcher (5S) would pull the Saltus Whites back to within one point as the momentum changed in the other direction during the second half. With the Saltus Whites in possession and pushing for the equalizer, Isai Gibbons (6M) would make a crucial interception to score a try and relieve the pressure for the Saltus Reds. Braydon Mackay (6M) would close out the scoring for the Saltus Reds to win an exciting match over the Saltus Whites 7 to 4, and advance to the final.
The final for the primary boys would be a matchup between the undefeated teams from the day’s play, the Saltus Reds and Warwick Academy Grizzlies. This would prove to be a good matchup of speed and skill, as the boys put on a show of some good rugby. Warwick Academy would take an early lead into the half time as Saltus made some critical errors on key plays that denied them a try conversion. Warwick lead 5-2 at the half with Zachary Felix (6M), Michael Tadman (6M) and Isai Gibbons (6M) scoring for Saltus.
Warwick Academy would stretch their lead with two additional scores in the 2nd half to take a comfortable 7-3 lead. Saltus Red would continue to press to get back into the match and setup a frantic finish with three unanswered scores from Ramsey Soutter (6O) converting two tries and Tyler Coleman(6M) adding a single score to bring Saltus to within one point. Unfortunately for Saltus time would run out and Warwick would edge them out 7-6 to win the tournament championship.
Saltus can be proud of the performances and results from the teams throughout the tournament, as they produced some entertaining matches for the parents and spectators who came to support.