With the official kick off to the Cayman Islands Men’s Rugby Union XV’s domestic rugby season, the Heineken Charity Shield, being settled a month ago the real competition, the Alex Alexander Memorial Trophy, rolls out on Saturday.
The Advance Fire & Plumbing Buccaneers secured the Heineken Shield for the first time with a win 14-12 win over the Century 21 Cayman Storm and have lined themselves up as early favourites to win the most coveted trophy in Cayman Islands rugby.
The Alex Alexander trophy, sponsored by DART, is a league trophy fought for by four domestic teams; the John Doak Architecture Iguanas, the Advance Fire & Plumbing Buccaneers, the Queensgate Pigs Trotters and the Century 21 Cayman Storm.
Each of the teams plays the other twice over a three month period looking to pick up league points. Four points for a win, two for a draw and none for a loss.
Bonus points are up for grabs with one earned for scoring four or more tries in a game or for losing a game by less than seven points meaning a maximum of five league points available for a win or a maximum of two league points available for a loss.
As the sport has grown here since its start in 1972 the Alex Alexander Trophy has spurred on the major improvements in quality of play and player for the Cayman Rugby Football Union.
The brainchild of former CRFU club captain and local boy Duane Bodden, the trophy competition – named after the late Alex Alexander, a founding member of the Cayman Rugby Union – was designed to improve the fortunes of the Cayman Island National Rugby team internationally by improving domestic competition.
In the early days the trophy was competed for by three teams, the Iguanas – made up of Caymanians who formed the national side – the Buccaneers, a team of ex-pats and the Pigs Trotters, made up of Royal Cayman Islands Police Force officers.
The Pigs Trotters have won the trophy twice since 2000, whilst the Buccaneers are the most successful league team having won the trophy five times over the same period. The majority of the Buccaneers successes date back to the leagues early days with a highlight in 2009 when the Buccs won both the league and Vase knockout trophy.
The Iguanas have held the trophy four times more recently with back to back wins in 2006, 2007 and again in 2010-11.
The Cayman Storm, the youngest team, are the incumbent league champions with their only other league success in 2008 when they, like the Buccaneers after them, won both the Alex Alexander and the Vase knockout trophy, a feat that neither the Iguanas nor Pigs Trotters have achieved.
Whilst games are televised online on www.caymanrugbytv.com games can be watched (at no charge) in South Sound at the Cayman Rugby Football Club and spectators will not be disappointed with ample fast, hard hitting action.