Cayman’s national rugby team achieved another victory over the weekend, setting themselves up perfectly for this Saturday’s crunch match.
The Rawlinson & Hunter Cayman national men’s team posted a 24-3 away win over arch rivals Bermuda in their first round North America and Caribbean Rugby Association test match on Saturday.
It was a record away score for Cayman against Bermuda and sets up the NACRA Northern final between 2013 champions USA South and Cayman in the SteppingStones Big Game 4 at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex this Saturday from 3 p.m.
In the NACRA Southern Division, Guyana beat Trinidad and Tobago 15-8 and advanced to the finals on Jun. 28.
The venue of the final match will be decided next Monday when the new International Rugby Board rankings emerge after the weekend’s results.
Cayman will move to their highest world ranking since records began but will have to see if the large away win leapfrogs them over Guyana to set up a possible home field advantage for the final. USA South, however, are the formidable team in the way of that potential final being in Cayman.
Cayman worked hard in the first half against Bermuda heading into a strong wind which kept them pinned back and meant that they had to adopt playing with the ball mainly in hand to gain territorial ground.
The deadlock was broken after 10 minutes when Kes Wright fielded a kick from fly half Marco Du Plessis to scamper between the posts for a 7-0 lead. Bermuda struck back with a penalty and Cayman held on for a 7-3 half-time lead.
After the interval, Du Plessis kicked a penalty taking the score to 10-3 before Yohann Regnard scored from a nicely executed line out to make it 15-3. Cayman maintained the pressure with Morgan Hayward adding three penalty kicks for a fabulous win.
Cayman made more than their fair share of unforced errors and must eradicate these to beat the powerful USA South. They will also have some work to do in scrummages and line outs which went well against Bermuda at times but also let the team down on several occasions.
Cayman rugby Chief Executive Officer Richard “Grizz” Adams is happy with the growth of the program.
“This management team has been appointed until the 2016 World Cup qualification process so I am delighted to see the steady improvement in performance and results.
“The work of Brad Cowdroy, Tim Rossiter and JS de Jager is evident as is the conditioning and professionalism of Dave Clancy. Our medical team of Sean Teeling, Al Bartice and Kate MacPherson are all making huge inroads into the professional approach of the team. They all deserve plaudits for what they are achieving.”
Adams added that the Cayman Rugby Football Union has developed its high performance program and the fact that Cayman will be ranked higher in the world than it has ever been is cause to congratulate everyone involved.
He said that there is still a lot of work to do this week to get things absolutely right for the USA South clash.
“However, we have a chance on Saturday to make our first final. It will be great to hear the noise coming out of the stadium as our nation rises to push the players all the way through.”
Tickets and corporate packages for the game are still available at www.caymanrugby.com.