The Cayman U16 team started their Canada tour with a hard won 19 – 17 victory over Brampton RFC on Monday in 40 degree weather and in front of some 200 local supporters and parents. Having arrived on Sunday evening coach Clark worked at fever pitch all day to get his young charges prepared for the match. He was rewarded with a memorable diplay of hard hitting tackles, fleet footed manouvers and deft handling skills against bigger, stronger and in some cases older opposition.
Cayman started very much on the back foot making some 45 tackles in the first 25 minutes of play, many to save the tourists going down early. However as the time progressed the Brampton players seemed dazed at the steady onslaught of the Cayman defenders and slowly the tide of the game started to ebb away from the home team. In the 32 minute Kramer Bell bulled his way through a couple of ever weakening tackles and scored under the posts. The try came as a direct result of a mammoth tackle from center Arly Chisholm that turned not only his opposite number around and sent him backward but produced the ball for Bell to pick up and run with. In fact Cayman went on to make ten more such tackles and one of these led to the second Cayman score some eight minutes later.
The Brampton number-eight picked from the base and was hammered by wing Sean Roffey, maybe the smallest player on the pitch, Josh Clark managed to wrestle the ball from the tackle and from that moment one of the best tries ever seen at the Brampton fields was on. Clark recycled the ball, Bell passed a long looping pass to Joel Clark the stand off, he pivoted and performed and equally long pass to center Justin Vasquez who poured on some truly top class speed which left three of the defenders wondering where he had gone, he continued to draw in the last two defenders and at the critical moment managed a sublime pass to winger Michael Manderson who sprinted the final 20 meters to score.
The local crowd were stunned at Cayman’s second score and especially the style in which the try was created and finished. The half saw coach Clark make a couple of subtle changes and sure enough in the last quarter of the match yet another huge tackle this time by Josh Clark left the ball grounded and Mandersen picked up and ran 70 meters down the pitch evading all chasers with raw speed to score Cayman’s third of the afternoon. Clark converted his second of the day and Cayman looked home and dry.
The Brampton coach not to be outdone however made some personell changes of his own and some even bigger lads hit the field. Once again tha Cayman lads found themselves on the back foot but once again managed some excellent tackles, Brampton however managed to get three scores in quick sucession and one conversion so with some eight minutes on the clock the Cayman lads were literally staring a loss in the face.
Captain Arly Chisholm rallied his troops however and ther Cayman defence refused to let the Brampton lads have the last say of the day. Amassing some 111 tackles in the match Cayman managed to hold on till the death for a famous victory overseas.