The Cayman Islands recorded their greatest rugby 15s win to date with a resounding 46-13 thrashing of Mexico to move on to the second round of the qualifiers for the Rugby World Cup 2015.
The match at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex on Saturday was a crucial one for Cayman having unexpectedly lost 19-18 to Jamaica two weeks previously. Cayman needed to beat Mexico by at least seven points and prevent them getting a bonus point by scoring four tries – and they did so in style.
Jamaica were beaten 68-14 by Mexico in the first Rugby World Cup 2015 qualifying match last month and Cayman went into the game in Kingston expecting an easy victory. When that didn’t happen they were left with a huge task against the Mexicans.
But bolstered by a huge crowd, Cayman set to the task impressively and an early Chris Bunce try settled their nerves and inspired them to an historic victory.
Cayman coach Brad Cowdroy made six changes from the Jamaica game. He said: “That’s the best I’ve seen the boys play for a long time. That’s how we train, we haven’t played like that ever and it was just fantastic, a phenomenal effort.
“Mentally we were a lot stronger than against Jamaica. Against Jamaica, whilst the boys won’t admit it, I think they thought they were going to get an easy game. They had just been beaten by 50 points by Mexico and our boys were over confident.
“In hindsight, that was a great game to lose for us because it really focused the players and for the last two weeks we’ve had some really good training sessions. When we got the bonus point I was happy and when we got the fifth try I was feeling good.”
Cayman now go to Bermuda on 19 May and a week later the Bahamas play here. The winner of the this round plays the winner of the Northern Caribbean group and that winner then takes on the winner of the Southern Caribbean who last year was Guyana.
Richard ‘Grizz’ Adams is Cayman rugby’s Technical Director.
He said: “We’ve got the right coaches in place in Brad and Tim Rossiter. We’ve entrusted the team with them. They like them. It was a huge blow against Jamaica but they’ve come back in two weeks and that’s why Brad and Tim are there.
“Jamaica and Mexico are very different sides. Jamaica are a very physical side. They’re very unstructured. They’ll hit you hard all day long.
Mexico are far more structured so they suit us to play against.
“Our guys were really blown away after the Jamaica loss, totally devastated. All power to them, they came back, did the work and got the result.
“I really thought we were going to win pretty much from the fist kick-off. Mexico didn’t look as if they were overly interested in the physicality. Our set pieces were dominating. Our backs were going to be dangerous any time we got our hands on the ball.
“Morgan Hayward (fly-half) settled down quickly and from then on it was really good night Irene. Bermuda will be a good team with big forwards up front but they, like Bahamas play very structured rugby so it will suit us. As long as everybody is healthy and available we’re only going to get better.”