While most of Cayman was buzzing with Super Bowl fever, rugby fans island wide were more interested in the kick off to the RBS 6 Nations followed by local rugby action in the afternoon at the South Sound ground.
The John Doak Architecture Iguanas piled on the misery for the Century 21 Cayman Storm on Saturday with a 10-point win over the current holders of the Alex Alexander Memorial Trophy.
While the Iguanas were without loose head prop and national XVs captain Ben McDonald and powerful inside centre Adam Keenan, the Iguanas welcomed Marcus Cumber and Chris Kennedy back.
The Storm, still without Vanassio Tokotokovanua and Jeffrey Robinson, welcomed back Camilo Andres and Keswick Wright, the latter making a surprise 180-degree turn on his decision to take early retirement from rugby. The Storm also welcomed the addition of local boy Dane Campbell and new front row forward Simon Dunsford.
The Iguanas were fast initially and controlled the early exchanges and it was Iguana winger Cumber who racked up their first points with an easy run under the posts try from a well worked move off a set piece. The try was converted to take the score to 7-0.
The Iguanas scored again when a deep kick was knocked into the try area by Keswick Wright and Iguana fly-half Shaun Harcastle touched the ball down to extend the Iguana lead to 14-0. A further Iguana penalty kick was notched up by Hardcastle before the Storm had their first points.
A loose kick from the Iguanas in their own half went to the Storm back line, who thrive on loose open play and it was Wright who ran in a try in the corner to make up for an earlier mistake and to ring in the half time score of 17-5.
The second half started well for the Iguanas again as the ball was pushed wide and Cumber ran in for his second try. The conversion was missed by Hardcastle to take the score to 22-5. But staring down a 17-point deficit, the Storm forwards came to life and a drive over try for the Storm pack secured by No. 8 Phil Thompson was unconverted to take the score to 22-10.
With the clock winding down and the Iguanas spending large periods defending their try line, a further kickable penalty for Hardcastle extended the Iguana lead to 15 points meaning that Storm would need to make at least three tries to take the win. But with only a further unconverted Hugh Williams try, the Storm earned the closing points of the game. The 10-point loss still leaves the Storm without any league points after two games.
The Storm, coming off three straight losses to the Buccaneers (in the Heineken Charity Shield), the Pigs Trotters and now the Iguanas hope to stem the blood loss as they take on the Advance Fire and Plumbing Buccaneers at 2pm on Saturday.
The second game on Saturday ended in a nail biting 17-17 draw between the Advance Fire and Plumbing Buccaneers and the Queensgate Pigs Trotters.
The Buccaneers, welcoming back Stefan Prior in the scrum and Paul Murphy at fullback were also buoyed by the addition of Morgan Shelver at fly-half in replacement of Michael Peck, who is now out for the season.
The Buccaneers appeared to have the Pigs Trotters on the ropes early on with captain Dan Bond bullying his way to the try line twice to take the score to 12-0 before some enterprising play from the Pigs Trotters saw Paul Westin earn a try for them and a Marco Du Plessis conversion brought up the half time score of 12-7.
However, the second half of the game saw a resurgent Pigs Trotters side use powerful forwards Paul Parker and Connan Hill to notch up two more unconverted tries, balanced by a Buccaneer flyer Addae Andrews try in the corner to see in the draw.
The Pigs Trotters, while happy to come away with a draw having gone down 12-0 early in the first half are looking to week three to ensure that Du Plessis’s kicking boot finds its former form against the league leading Iguanas as a few missed penalty kicks could have sealed a second consecutive win for the Trotters.
The Buccaneers leapfrog the Cayman Storm into third place, while the Iguanas and Pigs Trotters remain in first and second in the league standings.
Games are televised online on www.caymanrugbytv.com and also can be watched free of charge in South Sound.