Cayman Islands women’s rugby team had a marvellous tournament in Barbados last week, getting to the final of the Caribbean Championships.
They thrashed the hosts 54-3 then trounced St Vincent 76-0 to qualify for the final against the mighty Trinis.
The Trinidad & Tobago versuss Cayman Islands was the most anticipated game of the week for players, coaches and spectators alike.
With the Caribbean Championships at stake all the players put their bodies on the line from start to finish. The first 20 minutes saw the two-time and current champions Trinidad play rugby hard and fast with no let up.
The toughness of the game became apparent early on with Jane Robson suffering a broken nose in the first ruck and this set the tone for the rest of the game to come. She bravely continued playing.
Trinidad seemed at times almost above the law and seemed almost free to spoil and steal any precious ball Cayman could lay their hands on.
A few early line breaks by Trinidad got the Cayman defence scrambling and it took Trinidad 20 minutes to get on the board.
Cayman showed their dominance in the scrum and lineouts thanks to power and drive of Anne Storie, Krista Pell and Cindy Blekaitis, however with Cayman unable to build up any good second and third phase ball Trinidad became more and more confident in the broken play and were able to score two more tries before half time.
With the score at 17-0 at half time, and the two teams looking evenly matched the game was still there for the taking for either side and some ferocious tackling from Jo Zeiglar and Robson saw the top scoring Trinidad center being forced off with a knee injury early on.
Trinidad’s fitness, size and clear advantage at the rucks would be Cayman’s ultimate downfall which allowed the creative playmakers from the Trinidad side to throw everything at Cayman and slowly wear the defence down.
The final score being 48-0 not really reflecting the closeness of the game as Cayman showed unbelievable talent, bravery and heart.
Some more consistent refereeing around Cayman’s strengths such as scrums, rucks and mauls would have seen the score much closer, however it would still have gone Trinidad’s way.
The Trinidadians’ youth, size, pace and experience simply gave them the edge needed.
Ultimately, the better team on the day won however the Cayman women’s’ team returned from the tour with their heads high and definitely leaving the rest of the Caribbean teams with some seriously battered bodies and wary of what there is to come in the future.