We’ll try to be the Caribbean’s No.1

The Cayman Islands women’s rugby team recently took part in Ruggerfest Tournament in Fort Lauderdale.

In their first game they played Orlando.

Cayman started brightly, with fly half Kate Marshall getting the forward game plan under way with various forwards taking short passes off her to drive it into the Orlando back line.

Orlando, with the bigger pack and a well drilled back line, managed to turn over the ball about 10 minutes into the game. With the superior pack Orlando began to dominate the forwards battle, though Cayman defended extremely well with some big hits coming from Jane Robson and Jo Zeigler. Orlando won 17-0.

Incredibly, Cayman managed to limit the Orlando team to only three tries, compared to the 11-plus tries the last time the two teams met.

This was also Orlando’s lowest scoring game of the tournament which is a testimony to the incredible defence played by the Cayman women.

On the few occasions Cayman were able to attack, backline players Ashley Puschman and Olive MacDonagh showed that they wouldn’t be an easy win for anyone. The hard work at training on defensive play clearly paid off in this loss to Orlando.

Despite a hard fought 17-0 defeat already under their belt, Cayman had to play a second match that day against a well known and very experienced DC Furies side.

The game started off with unbelievable intensity with very close matched forward and backline combinations.

Cayman were first to dominate the game with well structured play between the backs and the forwards and a definite game plan coming through. Cayman dominated the first 15 minutes of the game in their opponents half and it was only lack of experience and a moment of relaxation in defence that saw Cayman down 7-0 at the 20th minute mark.

Two minutes later, Cayman replied with a perfectly executed play with the No.8 pickup feeding the scrum-half Jo Ziegler into the gap and the No.9 setting up the wing Olive MacDonaugh through the gap for a spectacular 50 metre try. This took the score to 7-5 with two minutes to go in the first half.

The DC Furies fought back right before half-time and scored with forwards try leaving the half time score at 12-5.

The initial part of the second half looked as if Cayman would dominate the remainder of the game with no points to the board for the first ten minutes.

There was some inspirational backline play almost seeing Cayman score two tries but to no avail the DC Furies managed to regroup. With Cayman starting to run out of gas, the last five minutes played a lot slower and the DC furies pulled off two more unconverted tries to leave the final score at 22-5

By far the closest game of the tournament was against Miami XV. It was well within Cayman’s grasp to beat the Miami regional side.

Once again the forwards did an outstanding job and passed enough balls to the back line to leave the score a tight 7-5 to Miami just after half time.

After a good try by MacDonaugh, following some hard work by the forwards, it seemed like the game was going to be won by Cayman. However a few injuries to key players, including a deep cut to the eye of Jane Robson, Miami broke down the Cayman momentum and the clock ran out on them before they could build up a few more attacks.

Skipper Rowena Lawrence said: ‘Overall, the team played the best rugby they have since reforming post-Ivan.

‘There were some outstanding individual performances but by far the most memorable part of the tournament was how the players came together as a team.’

The Cayman Islands women’s team is currently training for the Caribbean Championships to be held in Barbados June 20-27.

It’s a great opportunity for the team who have a real chance of winning the tournament. To raise funds for the trip to enable the team to travel, the girls are working hard at the following fund raising events: Bingo Night: Wednesday, April 29, Trivia Night: Thursday, May 14, Mini Olympics with a Twist: Saturday, May 23.

They are also selling raffle tickets for the Heineken Raffle at CI$25 each with the prizes as follows:

First prize for two people: option 1: flights and 4 nights in Edinburgh and two Heineken Cup Final Tickets; option 2: flights and 4 nights in Scotland with two rounds of golf for two, option 3: flights and 4 nights in London plus a Leicester Square show; Second Prize $1,000; Third Prize $1,000, Fourth Prize $1,000, Fifth Prize $500, Sixth Prize $500; Seventh Prize $250; Eight Prize $250; Ninth Prize $250; Tenth Prize $250.

The girls are keen to recruit more players, especially Caymanians. They train every Monday and Wednesday and would love new people joining.

For more details on any of the points raised, email Rowena Lawrence at rowena.lawrence@gmail.com.

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