The Cayman Islands rugby team lost a heartbreaker to Jamaica in Kingston in a World Cup qualifier by the narrowest of margins last week.
The 19-18 loss, a far cry from Cayman’s comfortable 36-24 win over Jamaica last year on home soil sends the Cayman crashing down seven places in the International Rugby Board world rankings and marks the first loss to Jamaica Cayman men have suffered in over a decade.
The Cayman team struggled to get their game going at all. The Jamaicans, clearly putting their 68-14 hammering by Mexico three weeks ago behind them were big and physical and took the game to Cayman with some huge confrontations.
Cayman were clearly thrown off with Jamaica taking a 13-0 lead in the first five minutes. Cayman set up some great opportunities but squandered them all before Venassio Tokatokavanua scored for Cayman and Morgan Hayward converted to bring the game to 13-7.
Hayward then slotted a penalty to take the half-time score 13-10.
In the second half Ben Blair crashed over to put Cayman 15-13 up.
Jamaica came straight back with a penalty to go ahead 16-15. In the last eight minutes Cayman were awarded another penalty which Hayward slotted giving cayman an 18-16 lead.
With the last play of the game Cayman won a line out and simply needed to get the ball out of bounds to win, there was a mix up and the resultant penalty to Jamaica was kicked and the international test won with the last play of the game to squeeze the victory 19-18.
Moving into the last game in the pool stage for round 1 Cayman play Mexico at the Cayman Big Game 1 www.caymanbiggame.com at Truman Bodden on 21 April.
Cayman must beat Mexico by a margin greater than seven points while not allowing Mexico to score four tries.
This will tie up the table at five points each but Cayman will then go through by the tournament rules so the Cayman Big Game is all or nothing to Mexico and Cayman while Jamaica are out of the Rugby World Cup 2015.