Round 2 of the Waterford Alex Alexander Cup continued last Saturday with the BPC Buccaneers taking on the Cayman Storm at the South Sound Rugby Pitch. With several members of the victorious Academy team in the Heineken Sevens, the Storm fancied their chances of knocking over AA Cup powerhouse and reigning Premiers, the BPC Buccaneers; however, the Buccaneers had watched them topple the Queensgate Pigs Trotters two weeks before and were in no mood to take chances with the swiftly improving Cayman Storm side.
The Storm started strongly, re-gathering their kickoff, and spinning the ball wide to test the Buccaneers defense early. The Storm made some ground, but the Buccaneers defense was solid, allowing no score and the Storm early dominance soon faded in the face of the much larger, more experienced Buccaneers.
With their pack clearly dominant, lead by CRFU Captain Brad Cowdroy, the Buccaneers kept the ball in tight, and ground down the Storms defense. Desperate Storm defense saw easy penalties given away, and the Buccaneers capitalized, ignoring easy penalties for ground, this dominance led to forwards Cowdroy, Ormond and Gerard scoring three quick tries to stun the Storm.
The Storm adjusted their defensive strategies, but Buccaneer halves Sam Sage and Matt McKenzie showed them it was all for naught as they steered the fired up Buccaneers to two more tries to round of the half. Buccaneers Captain Mick Kehoe was on fire, directing his troops from fullback and slotting his first three kicks, only to miss his last two by the slimmest of margins.
The Storm looked done, down 31-0 at the half, they were staring a heavy defeat in the face. However some stern words from Coach Adams, and the wind at their backs saw them come out firing. National Sevens Academy Coach Vanasio TokatokaVanua intercepted a Buccaneer pass and streaked away from the cover defense to score under the posts.
Soon after the next kickoff, the Storm attacked again, Captain Tim Rossiter chipped over the top of the flat defense to re-gather a lucky bounce and offload to Jonathan Doak as he was tackled. Doak dived over the line with the cover defense on his back, and it looked like the Storm might be on their way back.
It was not to be, as the Buccaneers recovered from their temporary slumber to score three more tries to snuff out the resurgence. Replacement winger Mark Colless, made two huge breaks, scoring one fine try himself, and offloading in the tackle to Jay Hamilton who powered over the line. The Buccaneer forwards responded with another try of their own to cap off an impressive display, Andre Ormand sliced through flimsy defense close to a ruck, showing admirable speed and strength to run 40 metres and carry a defender over the line with him for his second try of the game.
In summary, it was a dominant all round display by the BPC Buccaneers who signaled to the Don Fosters Iguanas that they were not going to hand over their title easily.
Their entire team played extremely well, providing the National Squad selectors with plenty of selection headaches for the upcoming Diamond Law Series against Canada U21 and Bermuda.
This Saturday the BPC Buccaneers will continue to showcase their skills against the Queensgate Pigs Trotters at 4pm on the South Sound Rugby Pitch and this will be an all to play for match as the winner will have a chance of moving into first place in the standings with only the Academy Iguanas game remaining before the playoff on April 22nd.
The much improved Pigs Trotters will be aiming to continue their late season improvement and hone their performances with the finals looming while the BPC Buccaneers will be hoping that their back row can dominate once again.