THE Bahamas was unable to capitalise on the home pitch advantage and opened the 2014 North American and Caribbean Rugby Association Championships with a loss.
The Bahamas was defeated by Mexico, 33-18, Saturday at the Winton Rugby Centre. It was the first in a trio of matches for the Bahamas who is placed in the South Zone Cup League of the tournament.
Mexico, fresh off a 56-9 defeat of Bermuda in their pre-tournament friendly, continued their domination against the Bahamas.
The first half was all Mexico as they took a 28-0 lead over the home side, before they were able to respond.
The Bahamas finally reached the scoreboard when Kevin Salabie scored on a pair of kick conversions to make the score 28-6. It would spark a streak of 18 unanswered points for the Bahamas which reduced the lead to 10.
Giovanni Rolle scored the first try for the Bahamas but an unsuccessful conversion left the score 28-11.
Jeremico Cooper added another try for the Bahamas to trim the deficit to 28-18. Mexico would add another try late to put the match away.
It was the second consecutive loss for the Bahamas after they were defeated by the Cayman Islands in a friendly pre-tournament warm-up, 35-7.
The 2014 NACRA Championships have been divided into two competitions and four divisions, accompanied with a relegation and promotion system playoff.
The two competitions are the Championship League and the Cup League. The Bahamas is a member of the Cup League which features eight teams in two divisions, North and South. The North Cup League features the Bahamas, Jamaica, Mexico and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The South Cup League includes the British Virgin Islands, Curacao, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines. The Bahamas is currently ranked No.92 in the International Rugby Board standings while Mexico is ranked No. 66 overall.
In other NACRA action, St Vincent and the Grenadines scored a 24-22 win over the British Virgin Islands while Jamaica took a 10-6 win over Turks and Caicos.
In the second game of the series, the Bahamas is scheduled to travel to face Turks and Caicos on May 31, and return home to face Jamaica at the Winton Rugby Centre on June 28.
In their last appearance at the NACRA 15s Men’s Championship, the Bahamas was relegated to Division Two after being eliminated from the event which also served as an iRB World Cup Qualifier.
In 2013, the Bahamas fell 27-7 to the Cayman Islands, the first time Cayman beat the Bahamas since 2003. They followed with a 16-8 loss to Bermuda in their second game of the North Zone group.