Cayman’s national women’s rugby
team won the Caribbean rugby championship with a stunning 49-0 display against
Bahamas in the final of the week long competition. It is the first time that
Cayman have won the tournament after finishing second in Barbados last year.
The Bahamians were simply not able to stem the flow of nine tries scored by Cayman
as Loletta Hanna (3), Lisa Bird (2), Lisa Kehoe, Rowena Lawrence and Emily
Davies all crossed for Cayman scores.
Lisa Kehoe controlled the game from
fly half from the start and with the excellent ball produced by the forward
pack she was able to set Jo Ziegler, Jane Robson, Sumari Naude all Cayman back
row players as well as centre Hanna on devastating runs through the Bahamians central
defence time and time again despite the ferocious tackling of the Bahamians.
With so much excellent ball produced up front all of the Cayman back line got
in on the act allowing Cayman to play an expansive game with Cara Hennessey and
Katie Bayles offering some strong runs and deft passing while scrum half Rowena
Lawrence was the little general directing the forwards and linking with the
swift back line. Even replacement Claire Hughes came within inches of scoring
late in the second half.
Coach Caroline Deegan joined the
game late in the first half after Anne Marie Douglas injured her back as a
result of some devastating runs she put in against the massive Bahamian
forwards. The front Row of Cindy Blekatis, Desiree Sampang and Katie Anne
Miller worked valiantly to ensure solid ball from the scrum and lineout and new
lock Janice Gordon was also rampant from the base of several breakdowns with
ball in hand. Yi Jing Chen and Denise Williams replaced Sampang and Gordon late
in the game and made very solid contributions to the defense in particular. Injured
players Sarah Hale and Chyrstal Bush also enjoyed watching from the side lines.
Deegan was thrilled with the win. She said:
“It’s been a very hard week playing against Canada and the USA national U20s team
but that has allowed us to test ourselves against some of the best players in
the region and in the long run was the best preparation we could have possible
had for this championship match. I am so pleased with all of the girls they did
exactly what we asked of them and the end result was exactly as promised.”
Director of Rugby Richard ‘Grizz’ Adams was
also very pleased. He said: “The girls have worked very hard in the face of
adversity this week. There has been a lot of injury and soreness, lots of training
and analysis, lots of pretty tough analysis for some of the girls but they have
all accepted the criticisms and showed today just how well they can play. It
was without doubt the best performance I have seen from any of the Cayman
women’s team I have been involved with over the past ten year.”