Big hearts needed to keep us up

International rugby is being played this weekend in a fixture that has fans drooling with excitement.  

National rugby coaches Brad Cowdroy and Tim Rossiter feel their squad for the Cayman match up well against Bermuda in the 2013 NACRA Caribbean Championships fixture – dubbed Big Game 3 – this Saturday at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex in George Town.  

The squad has been tweaked after narrowly losing to the USA Rugby South by two points in Atlanta earlier this month with national XVs captain Ben McDonald rejoining the squad, as well as the introduction of Joel Clark, Michael Wilson and Saviri Tabuaniwere.  

After that loss, the Americans travelled to Bermuda on 18 May and piled 24 points on the Bermudans in stark contrast to their encounter against Cayman where they could not find their way to the try line.  

The USA South’s saviour against Cayman in the flood-like conditions was penalty kicker Lucas Baistrocchi, who scored all nine points.  

Cayman are looking to overturn their last encounter against Bermuda when they lost 7-3 in Hamilton. While there is no chance of progression in this year’s NACRA Championships with both Bermuda and Cayman having lost to USA Rugby South – who now await now await the winner of the Southern Caribbean zone, which could be either Guyana, Barbados or Trinidad and Tobago – Cayman and Bermuda will each be fighting against relegation.  

Coach Cowdroy: “Even though USA South has won the Northern Caribbean region, Big Game 3 is by no means a dead rubber as the loser will be relegated to the lower tier for next year’s tournament and need to qualify back up to this top tier round robin, so both teams have everything to play for. 

“Selecting the team to play Bermuda from the wider training squad has again proved to be a difficult task requiring many discussions and various team composition options being explored. 

“As it is the last game of this year’s campaign, we have no doubt the players chosen will give it their all and not leave anything on the field.” 

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Morgan Hayward will control Cayman’s tactics.

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Cayman won sensationally against Mexico last year. – PHOTOS: RON SHILLINGFORD
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