Trinis big obstacle for both

The women’s and Under-19 Caribbean rugby championships are being held in Grand Cayman this week and all the matches have lived up to expectations. The tournaments come to a conclusion this weekend with Cayman needing plenty of support in both games at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex to reign supreme. 

The women have an exceptionally tough task, taking on the mighty Trinidad and Tobago on Friday from 6pm. The Trinidadians smashed the Caribbean Selects 92-0 on Sunday in their first game and beat Jamaica comfortably on Tuesday.  

Cayman women lost to Jamaica 15-12 on Monday and beat Caribbean Selects 27-12 on Tuesday. Cayman’s scorers against the Selects were Loletta Hanna with two tries and  

Fiona Brader, Jesse Lane and Katie Bayes. 

Cayman’s technical director of rugby is Richard ‘Grizz’ Adams. He said: “I believe the margin we have to win by is 38 points. However coach Caroline Deegan says they will aim to improve upon their performances from the past two games and if they can do that she will settle for a win and if by a big enough margin then so be it. 

“They’ll have to play better than they did against Caribbean Selects. They need to extend the way they played in the first ten minutes of each half to the full 80 minutes of the game. Apply lots of pressure to the Trinidad back line and driving game by ensuring they go forward in defence.” 

Grizz feels Bernadette Beckles, Joan Murphy, Desiree Sampang, Hanna and Lisa Kehoe have been the best Cayman players so far. 

He was impressed with the fabulous 11-10 victory for the Cayman U-19s against Bermuda on Wednesday. Tom Mann got a try and there were penalties from Morgan Hayward and Alex Harvey. 

Bermuda are the reigning Caribbean champs and their team was evidently older and bigger than the Caymanians. The youngsters also face a formidable Trinidad and Tobago side, on Saturday at 6pm.  

Grizz said: “There was a great sense of wanting to win and doing what it takes to do that, the sign of a championship team, even though the average age is only 16.  

“I think Cayman will be confident if they can stick to their structured game approach and the key components fire in their last game. The whole squad have all added to the results, none better than any of the others, it’s been a truly rounded performance 

“Morgan Hayward had a good match against Bermuda but his kicking was a bit off. His kicking will be essential to ensure that Cayman can remain in the Trinidad half and assert pressure. 

Russell Hayward is the U-19 head coach. He said: “The positives are we beat a really well organised, experienced Bermuda team. We had control, possession and territory for the majority of the game. 

“We are a very young team. All but two of our starting team are available next year. Seventy-five per cent of the squad can play for the next two years. The youngest member is William Hayward who is only 15 and a year younger than all the other boys in the squad. 

“The Trinidadians will offer a completely different threat. They are bigger and more dynamic players. They do not play a well structured game and are more predictable in their game plan. It will be a very tough game, but Cayman are confident that we have the players to overcome their more open game. 

“Morgan Hayward has been outstanding in defence and in creating two of the three Cayman tries in this tournament. In the forwards, Alex Pineau has had two massive games so far. 

“Morgan was not on top form against Bermuda with his goal kicking, but his kicking out of hand was very strong. We are lucky to have an excellent kicker in Alex Harvey too who can step up to take crucial kicks and shoulder the responsibility with Morgan. Goal kicking and tactical kicking will be a very influential part of Saturday’s final.” 

Sports Story

Jessica Lane scored a superb try for Cayman.

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