Stressed kids leave it late

As a continuing testament to the efforts of the Cayman Rugby Football Union’s youth training programmes, a recent game originally scheduled to be played on New Year’s day between the Cayman U25s against a club select side of those over the age of 25 eventually kicked off at 4pm on January and saw a thrilling match on the South Sound pitch.

The U25s, led by university student Stuart McMillan, were dogged in defence for the first hour of the game and whilst the action see-sawed from end to end it was the U25s who broke the deadlock and opened the scoring 7-0 just before half time.

Whilst the Over 25s were expectantly dominant in the scrum it was everywhere else on the park that the youngsters seemed to have the upper hand, much to the joy of Under-19s national coach Steve Clarke who had himself nurtured much of the young Caymanian talent on show.

With the youngsters able to score once more though Joel Clark early in the final 20 minutes of the game it looked as though the U25s were close to sealing victory but two converted tries from Keswick Wright and Venassio Tokotokovanua meant as the clock ticked down the U25s were trailing by two points.

A long range penalty effort from Robbie Cribb to retake the lead was missed but a last ditch chip and chase run from McMillan with only seconds on the game clock brought the winning points for the youngsters to close the game 17-14.

The spectacle of youth rugby continues on the South Sound pitch this month with the first touring side of 2010 to visit the Islands arriving on Monday. Loyola U23 Rugby will be in the Cayman Islands to play two games. Loyola are expected to be a strong team with several of last year’s Kenya U20 JW Trophy players in their side.

The first is against the Cayman Development U23 XV on Wednesday 13 January, kick off 4pm. Layola’s second match is against the full Cayman U25 XV on Saturday 16 January, also at 4pm.

Also on Saturday week there is the Heineken Charity shield at 2pm. It’s between last year’s AA Cup and Waterford Trophy champions the BPC Buccaneers and 2009 AA Cup runners up the DHL Storm. It should be quite an encounter.