Of all the many triumphs in recent Cayman Islands rugby history, the Under-19 boys showing immense character to come back from an early setback to win on penalty kicks against Trinidad and Tobago and become Caribbean champions ranks amongst the best for local rugby president Derek Haines.
The game on Saturday at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex was riveting from start to finish. Haines and technical director Richard ‘Grizz’ Adams have a lot to be proud of.
“Physically, we were a lot younger and smaller than the Trinidadians but we definitely showed a higher skill level,” beamed Haines. “It was a heart-stopping finish but also a wonderful advert for rugby in general and the Cayman Islands in particular.
“The visiting officials and rugby board were again pleased with our organisation. In all three matches the boys had to come from behind to win and they showed tremendous heart and maturity in doing so.”
Haines was also pleased with the character shown by the Cayman Islands women who lost narrowly to Jamaica, beat the Caribbean Selects but were heavily beaten by the brilliant Trinidad and Tobago, 48-0.
“They were outgunned by the Trinidadians, but they didn’t lose face. They too showed a lot of heart to keep battling to the end. For an island of only 55,000 playing countries with two or three million, we haven’t got a lot of reserves. At least rugby is a growing sport here and I’m pleased to see it is attracting a lot of local girls.”