The Cayman national men’s XV faltered to USA Rugby South in heart-breaking fashion in Marietta Georgia on Saturday.
Playing in atrocious cold and wet conditions with much of the Life University rugby pitch submerged in up to four inches of water, Cayman scored first when continued pressure at the set piece caused a knock on behind the USA try line.
Cayman scrum half Robbie Cribb quickly touched down for the opening points of the game. The try was duly converted by Morgan Hayward.
Cayman continued to dominate the scrum and lineout but could not manage any further points as the conditions made any running play difficult but smart kicking from Hayward and inside centre Adam Keenan and powerful runs from the Cayman Pack kept the USA South in their own half for much of the first 40 minutes which finished 7-3 in Cayman’s favour.
Barring a rued missed penalty kick which would have taken Cayman to 10 points the Cayman defence held out for 80 minutes as the American attack could not find the try line as they had done in previous encounters this international season against Jamaica, Mexico and the Bahamas.
But two kickable penalties in the second half for USA South, the second coming in the final three minutes saw the Americans not only take the lead for the first time but squeeze out a two point win 9-7.
USA South now plays Bermuda away on 18 May whilst Cayman must regroup to face Bermuda on home soil at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex on 1 June.
Should Bermuda defeat USA South then it will be all to play for at Big Game 1 against Cayman.