Storm crushed Panthers

The DHL Cayman Storm travelled to
West Palm Beach three weeks ago for a match against Florida Division 3 outfit
the Palm Beach Panthers.  The game was
played in good spirit but the Storm, Heineken Charity Shield and Waterford Vase
Winners, had too many guns for the young Panthers side running out winners
37-21.

From the start, it was played at a
frantic pace with both teams running the ball. 
It was the Storm who struck first and turned possession and territory
into points. After several well worked phases, the ball came left to Carey
Tasker who just needed to draw and pass and John ‘Dealer’ Swanepoel crashed
over in the corner.

Michael Sumares added a penalty to
take the lead to 8-0. The Storm were now in full flight with James Geary making
good yards up the middle and Camilio ‘Chile’ Ramirez making some bone crunching
tackles. Chile was soon rewarded for his efforts with try. 

From
the restart the Panthers scored a controversial try. From the kick off a few
50/50 passes went astray and the Panthers pounced on the ball metres from the
line. Their half back then proceeded to bounce off his own forwards in front of
him like a pin ball and wriggle over. 
The conversion was successful, 13-7 to the Storm.

The Storm continued to dominate
possession and territory and from a scrum just outside the 22 Geary picked from
the base and went over for a well deserved diving try. Sumares conversion was
successful.

From
the restart there was another moment of madness for the Cayman team. The Storm
turned the ball over and were caught ball watching with no fullback at home and
the Panthers’ half back scampered 40 metres for his second try. The conversion
was successful to take it to 20-14.  The
Panthers threw everything at the Storm who looked to be tiring towards the end
of the half but their defence held. Then a great turnover by the backs, barnstorming
runs by the forwards Ollie Bushula and Allain Froget lead to a good team try
scored by Venasio Tokatokavanua.  Sumares
conversion was successful and the half ended 27-14.

After some harsh words at half-time
a rejuvenated Storm returned for the second half. Geary continued where he left
off in the first half and made several big runs and fends from the base of the
scrum. From one of those runs, captain Ross Connerton stayed in support and
sprinted 20 metres to score. The conversion was wide and the lead increased to
32-14. With the game well in control and several Storm players feeling the
effects of both the brutal South Florida heat and the night before, it was time
to slow the game down for the last 20 minutes. 
The forwards stood up and slowed it down with a number of pick and goes
and mauls. 

However there was still time for
another moment of madness. From a Venasio restart from the 22 he picked out the
Panthers fastest player who caught the ball 60 metres out and ran it back and
scored under the posts. The conversion was successful for the Storm.

With the win well within their
grasp the Storm poured on the pressure to get one more try. They were awarded a
penalty 5 metres from the try line. Venasio took the quick tap, threw a great
dummy and produced a spectacular diving score. 
As time ran out it was decided that big Hugh ‘Willo’ Williams should
take the conversion right in front of the posts, which he managed to pull wide.

Storm manager Mark Woollard said:
“Everyone played well, but Geary stood out and was awarded Man of the Match by
the Palm Beach team.  Even though it was
a Cayman Storm tour a big thank you to John Wagner, David Terry and James Geary
who came on the tour as guest players from Cayman’s Queensgate Pigs Trotters
team.”

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