Middlebury want props

The Fidelity Cayman Storm rugby team and the John Doak Architecture Iguanas joined forces on Sunday to take on Middlebury College Rugby Club who are in Cayman for a three-game touring series.

The South Sound pitch does not often entertain games on a Sunday but with Middlebury having arrived on island only the day before the young Americans were keen to get a game in and acclimatize to playing in the Caribbean heat and humidity.

Middlebury were certainly the younger, fitter and more organized side going into the opening fixture but Cayman Select had size and experience on their side.

Middlebury opened the scoring and the Cayman struggled to contain them early on. With some kicking for territory mingled with forward driving from Cayman, the “Stiguanas” soon got into scoring distance after a missed Robbie Cribb penalty kick was knocked forward by Middlebury and a series of forward phases led to a drive close to line, which allowed Iguana tighthead prop Peter de Vere to open the scoring for Cayman.

Cayman started dominating and a brace of tries from Iguana fly-half Kramer Bell and a fourth try from Iguana wing James Macfee gave the Stiguanas some breathing room, but a red card for foul play left the Cayman side playing with 14 men for much of the second half. This gave Middlebury the opportunity to mount a late charge, but thanks to two Cribb penalties and two conversions, the Stiguanas held on to win 30-21.

On Tuesday, the two top ranked teams in the 2014 Alex Alexander Memorial Trophy series – the Queensgate Bank Pigs Trotters and the Advance Fire and Plumbing Buccaneers – took on Middlebury and, much like the Stiguanas before them, struggled early on against the feisty visitors.

The Caymanians were down 12-0 before they reacted and made two tries in quick succession, including a well worked chip and chase from Pigs Trotter center Keswick Wright, brought them equal with the visitors.

The “Puccs” took the lead with another converted try but rather than play safe consolidated rugby to see out the win, Cayman decided to play the Americans at their own brand of up-tempo rugby by spreading the ball out wide.

The champagne rugby tactic did not work though with the numerous handling errors and turn-overs for the Puccs and with only five minutes left, Cayman saw their slender four point lead turn into a bitterly disappointing 29-19 loss.

With the series now at 1-1 and all to play for, it is now down to Cayman’s national XVs side to take on Middlebury at 4 p.m. on Friday.

Games are free to watch live at the Cayman Rugby Club in South Sound or on www.caymanrugbytv.com.

The South Sound pitch does not often entertain games on a Sunday but with Middlebury having arrived on island only the day before the young Americans were keen to get a game in and acclimatize to playing in the Caribbean heat and humidity.

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