Visiting British sailors on HMS Argyll were on a 21-match unbeaten run at ports during their tour of the Caribbean region, but a well drilled Cayman Select rugby team put an end to that nautical streak on Wednesday.
Cayman won 31-0 at the club ground in South Sound.
The sailors had been to Stingray City earlier and done other touristy things, so maybe mentally they were not as focused as possible against a Cayman side that has just started its season, but were nevertheless incredibly fit and disciplined.
Considering 10 minutes before the game Cayman had only nine of the 15 needed for a full team, they did well initially as players arrived just in time for the first whistle.
Richard “Grizz” Adams is director of rugby at the club. He said he was pleased with the way the team jelled so quickly considering they were pulled from many teams and levels. “It was nice to see so many young lads out there who have been working in the senior squad and Under-18 squad,” Mr. Adams said. “All the national team players were resting so it was great to see everybody else get a chance to have a run.”
Mr. Adams was impressed with HMS Argyll’s competitive spirit. He felt the visitors just ran out of steam toward the end. “They played very well and are a great bunch of guys,” he said.
“It was great to have them here,” he said. “It’s going to be a great night here in the clubhouse,” said Derek Haines, Cayman rugby’s president. “The sailors said that they enjoyed being here more than anywhere else in the Caribbean, even though we snapped their long unbeaten run.”
Mr. Haines said that the HMS Argyll players were pleasantly surprised by Cayman’s high playing level and thoroughly enjoyed their whole experience here, including sightseeing, visiting schools and playing football against a Northward inmates side the day before.
“They also enjoyed our hospitality,” Mr. Haines said. “That included a nice curry after the match and some drinks in the only rugby clubhouse they’ve been to at a British Overseas Territory.
“They were also the toughest visiting ship we’ve played against in many a year.” HMS Argyll arrived in Cayman on Monday for a four-day visit.