Cayman women’s rugby team will have a tough task against Jamaica this weekend, yet they are relishing the challenge.
Cayman have only played a couple of matches as the women’s version on the island is still in its infancy but they are buoyant about taking on the notoriously rough and fast Jamaicans at South Sound.
‘We will definitely be better prepared and more organised than them,’ said coach David Mays. ‘I expect us to do well. They might have the edge in experience but I’m sure we’ll have worked on our game much more than them. I bet they’ll have only come together last week for the first time.’
Cayman take on the less threatening Trinidad and Tobago the following Thursday again at South Sound and lessons learned from the Jamaica game will put them in good stead for the Trinis.
Gill Comins can’t wait for the matches. She loves playing rugby, football, gaelic football, triathlon…absolutely any sport, in fact, as long as it’s fast paced and competitive. Comins is a physical education teacher at St Ignatius school. At this time of year you would think the Yorkshire lass – who is a proud Scarborough Football Club fan – would want to put her feet up for a few weeks and recharge her batteries before another strenuous school term. Not Comins, she enjoys school vacations for the single reason that she can indulge in even more sports. Rugby is one that she hasn’t had much chance to master because of circumstances. ‘I’ve been here for six years and only played two rugby games in the past,’ she said. ‘Ivan disrupted the programme. Jamaica and Trinidad are a bit of an unknown. We lost to the Jamaicans in a close game before, something like 15-11. That was away. We’re on home soil this time. I just want to go out and enjoy it. I really enjoy the rugby atmosphere. I like being part of a team and playing sport during the summer holidays is something to keep me out of mischief.’ The mind boggles.
Comins was a star performer for Grizz’s Old Boys in the touch rugby tournament on Saturday. It was good preparation for the women who played in mixed teams with men but they didn’t get smashed about.
There will be nothing lightweight about the match on Sunday but Lolita Hanna is not worried. She is a Caymanian who enjoys the rough and tumble of rugby. She is a back. ‘I was playing soccer and in the close season a team mate said to come down and have a go at rugby,’ she said. ‘I went along and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s wonderful. I think a lot of locals should join in. They’re not aware of women’s rugby. It’s not as rough as people think it is.
‘Against Jamaica I think we’ll do pretty well. As long as we don’t allow ourselves to get intimidated. I’ve played against Jamaica before and they’re rough but we shouldn’t worry about that. We have some people on our team that could rival them.’