Cayman juniors impressive in Canada tour

In hot conditions (94F), Hamilton kicked off to Cayman RFU Under-16s in Canada. This was an extra game added to the slate of games included on the Cayman U-16 Toronto Tour. This extra game means that Cayman will now play three games in the three days. The coaches said that this schedule was possibly too hectic but would ‘sort the men from the boys’. Unlike their last match, this game would be played in two 35 minute periods.

From the start Cayman put pressure on the Hamilton Hornets but no scores resulted. A crowd of some 150 enjoyed what was becoming a very physical battle on the pitch. Following the award of a lineout to Hamilton, they kicked high and gain significant ground. The resulting line out is won by Hamilton who move the ball quickly out and along their backs. This quick passing was rewarded with a try and conversion allowing the Hamilton Hornets to lead 7-0.

Following the restart lineout ball is won by Jordan Seales, allowing the ball to quickly flow to Stuart McMillan who belted a huge cross-field kick, but lost possession. However, the Cayman lads with strong tackling and good maul and ruck regained passion which allowed Michael Manderson to run in his first try of the day and third on tour.

Following a period of open play the ball was passed to Robert Robinson on the wing.

Robert showed great speed tearing down the wing but failed to ground the ball for the try before going out to the side after crossing the line.

Following a drop out 22 Cayman regain possession and is quick up and under by Josh Clark led to him catching a ball and bullying himself over for an unopposed try which he failed to convert.

This go ahead score gave Cayman a 10-7 lead over the Hornets.

The second half deteriorated into a period of foul play in which Cayman was awarded sixteen penalties. The 11th penalty Cayman managed to convert and seal the game for a final score of 13-7 in Cayman favour.

Cayman Islands coach Steve Clark was pleased with the win but disappointed in the large number of offences committed by the opposition which prevented the Cayman juniors from playing the ‘champagne rugby’ they are known for.

The tour organizers thanked their sponsors and supporters, in particular, Andro Group, Cayman Screen Print for the tour shirts and Kirk Office, Butterfield Bank, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Scotiabank, Quin & Hampson Re/Max, Rawlinson & Hunter, CIBC Bank & Trust, KPMG.

Cayman also played Brantford, this time under heavy skies and cooler temperatures. With thunder rumbling in the background Brantford kicked off into the face of a determined Cayman team.

The half proved to be a game of cat and mouse with each team probing and testing the other. Cayman’s Jordan Seales dominated the line out stealing four of eight of the opposition’s throw-ins and eight of his own team’s. Brantford’s defence was solid for the first half with only six scrums in the first half awarded. Combined with a total of five penalties the quality of the rugby was of a high standard. The first half was a dueling battle of two kickers vying for position.

Cayman continued the lineout winning all, bar one of their own lineouts, and won the only Brantford lineout of the second half.

Although Cayman was weaker in the scrummage they continued their territorial advantage in pursuit of a score which was eluding both sides.

The break through came from a penalty awarded to Cayman in the 27th minute of the second half. Josh Clark and passed to Robert Robinson who was driven to the ground one meter short by no less than seven Brantford players. Turning on the tackle he presented the ball to Kramer ‘the Bull’ who barged over carrying two players with him. The Cayman players rejoiced when Josh Clark scored two more points with the conversion.

A knock on following the restart gave Brantford a scrum in the Cayman half on the fourth phase of play the Brantford ‘palomino horse’ broke through four Cayman tackles and two wavey arms to score under the posts. With the conversion and the final whistle the score was tied at 7-7.

Coach Clark, in reviewing the match, commented that ‘this was rugby, champagne rugby’.

‘This is the best rugby I have seen from a junior representative side from the Cayman Islands,’ said Cayman Islands Technical Director Richard Adams.

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