With a fourth straight win of the season on the horizon, the DHL Storm
They have already beaten John Doak Architecture to win the Heineken Shield and their two other league games. On Saturday they set their sights on the AA Cup against the John Doak Architecture Iguanas .
Having earned bonus point wins over the Queensgate Pigs Trotters and the Krys Global Buccaneers, another win would take the Storm to an almost untouchable 15 league points at the half way mark in the schedule.
The Iguanas meanwhile, having defeated an improved Queensgate Pigs Trotters side by a similar points margin to what the Storm had achieved, knew that momentum was building in their favour.
The Storm, who were without Josh Clark for the game after a move to the Pigs Trotters on loan for the season and with Venassio Tokotokovanua bed ridden with the flu, were certainly without two talented players but with their top points scorers Keswick Wright and Simon Crompton still on the pitch and with a long substitutes bench the Storm were certainly unphased going into the game.
Within 30 seconds of the whistle the Storm were on the scoreboard. Keswick Wright, creating possibly the fastest AA Cup try in history, put boot to a wayward pass and with ample speed broke through the Iguana defensive line to collect and score under the posts to make the score 7-0.
From that point on however the Iguana momentum continued to build and an Etienne Duvenage, try, conversion and a handful of penalty kicks put the Iguanas in control of the game.
With the Storm having never played catch up rugby this year they looked out of sorts and with Hugh Williams taken off the pitch injured the Storm were running out of options.
An improved Storm scrum and lineout could do little in the end to stem the bloodflow and even with Simon Crompton buoying the Storm with his quick tap penalties the Iguanas ended the day 18 point victors. John Doak Architecture Iguanas won 33-18.
The lion’s share of points belonged to Etienne Duvenage who managed to score every way possible on the day (try, conversion, penalty kick and drop goal) buoyed by tries from Richard Lewis and David Bailey.
In the day’s second game the Queensgate Pigs Trotters took to the field against a weakened Krys Global Buccaneers side. The Pigs, looking to put behind them two massive losses carried the knowledge that a second upset of the day could make the league a four horse race!
The Buccaneers, playing without a host of forwards – most notably Ben Blair – seemed to struggle around the park and with inside centre Jonathan Murphy playing hurt meant that the Pigs, with the addition of Josh Clark, were for the first time this season not seriously disadvantaged.
Although the Buccaneers scored first and maintained their small lead for much of the game an interception try for Clark opened the game and handed the Pigs Trotters the lead for the first time in the game.
With the clock counting down and the crowd on the edge of their seats the Buccaneers, trailing by only one point, were awarded a kickable penalty and handed the duty to Jon Murphy who looked to have doomed his team to defeat with a poor effort that went way left of the mark.
The Pigs, needing only to maintain possession for the dying minutes and grind out a win were to be the harbingers of their own undoing having granted Murphy a second chance at goal with only seconds to go on the clock. Murphy went from villain to hero and slotted the goal to give his team a slim two point win. Krys Global Buccaneers beat the Queensgate Pigs Trotters 20-18.
The next games are on Saturday. At 2pm, Krys Global Buccaneers play John Doak Architecture Iguanas and the 4pm kick off sees the Queensgate Pigs Trotters against DHL Storm.
All games can be viewed on www.caymanrugbytv.com