For the Cayman Islands national rugby team, involvement in the 2012 Caribbean championships is over and the qualification process for the 2015 Rugby World Cup halted on Saturday when the Bahamas lost to Bermuda on their home turf.
Bermuda, who had beaten Cayman by a slim four point margin needed to beat Bahamas to stop Cayman’s progress after Cayman’s 20 point win over the Bahamas in Cayman three weeks ago. And it looked as though Cayman may have been handed just the life line they needed when the Bahamas were leading 8-3 midway through the first half, but Bermuda edged their way forward after a drop goal edged them ahead.
A low scoring second half eventually saw Bermuda cross the try line to bring up the final score of 16-8 and both Cayman and the Bahamas rued the fact that the Bahamas missed five penalty kicks which, had they been successful, would have made the Bahamas comfortable winners.
Bermuda will now play Guyana in the North American Rugby Championship final in Bermuda. Whoever wins the Caribbean Championship final will progress in the Rugby World Cup Qualifying process to play the winner of the CONSUR B Tournament between the South American nations of Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and Costa Rica.
The winner of that fixture will play the last place team of the CONSUR A tournament between USA and Canada to see who progresses. Whilst it is unlikely that any Caribbean nation would be successful against either of those sides – both of whom regularly qualify for the World Cup alongside the only Americas team to have already qualified, Argentina – Cayman will be keeping a keen eye on the competition’s progress.
The win over the Bahamas ensures that Cayman stay in the second tier of Northern Caribbean nations whilst Bahamas are relegated to join Mexico and Jamaica in the bottom tier.