Pulsating rugby action entertained the crowds again over the weekend as the national teams prepared for the World Cup qualifiers in the Bahamas next month.
The second leg of the Cable & Wireless summer sevens series was won by the O’Neill Wolfhounds giving them the maximum 20 tournament points.
The successful day was hosted by South Africa and a large crowd enjoyed the rugby and the entertainment and food.
The O’Neill Wolfhounds started with an emphatic win against series leaders Cable & Wireless national VII 19-0.
The Wolfhounds were sporting some excellent additions to their side which made all the difference.
For their part the Cable & Wireless national sevens missed way too many tackles and lost the shape of their game in both attack and defence relying heavily on individual talent and not team performance.
The Wolfhounds went on to beat the Maples Academy 31-5 despite some excellent performances from the Academy players and a host of wasted opportunities.
In the day’s biggest match, the Wolfhounds beat Ama Tsotsi 15-10 in a hard fought and close clash. Ama Tsotsi did manage a win against the Maples Academy 12-0 as the gap between all of the four premier sides lessens with each tournament.
Cable & Wireless national VII went on to beat both Ama Tsotsi 5-0 and the Maples Academy 34-0 both with better defensive efforts.
Their structure and shape in attack however were lacking in both games and coach Richard ‘Grizz’ Adams has his work cut out for him this week if he is going to get the team back on track and get the all important wins on Saturday against all three teams.
Adams was off island representing the Caymans in regional conferences in Miami over the weekend but having watched all of the Cable & Wireless and Maples Academy team performances on video, he said: ‘It was disappointing that we were not able to hold our attacking shape with the main Cable & Wireless National VII in any of the three matches as we did this relatively well two weeks ago during leg 1 of the series.
‘We have spent more time in the last two weeks working on defence and after a host of missed assignments and missed tackles in the first game this did improve somewhat, so that is a positive.
‘We have a team here full of individual talent, speed, agility and skill but alone this will not be enough come the World Cup qualifiers in October.
‘This team has to gel, stick to the team patterns that we run and rely on each other to do the jobs assigned.
‘This coming Saturday I will be playing my top seven in all three matches as the team now needs to play together and we need to sort out our replacement patterns.
‘I have looked at 24 players so far between the Maples Academy team and the Cable & Wireless national VII and now need to get it down to ten.
‘While I have named a travelling squad this is by no means a final squad and after the last two performances some of the players named in that squad have failed to impress while some on the Academy squad have very much stepped forward and shown that they want a place. We have to do better this Saturday.’
So after two legs the Cable & Wireless national seven sit atop the series standings with the O’Neill Wolfhounds just slightly behind and snapping at their heels.
In the women’s division the National VII continued to improve with two wins over the club select side. In the Social division Maples showed their form winning all three matches over the A La Kebab Clydesdales and the RE/MAX knackers and Tarnished Turtles and now sit atop the social standings.
This Saturday the action starts from 1:30pm and North America is hosting the day with a mix of Canadian, Mexican and American food and beverages on offer.
Pete de Vere, press relations officer for the Cayman Rugby Union, said: ‘
‘It’s really gone from strength to strength and today is proof of that. There are so many people out here today and so far so good. We’ve seen some really good rugby.
‘The touch season is over. We had a great final night last night. Everybody was dressed nicely in their costumes. Soon will be getting to the 15s and we’ll be gung ho all the way.
‘I really like the look of the Cable & Wireless national side. They won the first leg and although they lost their first game today, I’m sure they’ll bounce back.’ He was right.