Ladies fall short of Pan-Am berth

Some of Cayman’s best female tacklers barely missed the target in Mexico. 

The Cayman Islands national women’s 7s team finished third in the North American and Caribbean Rugby Union 7s Championships in Mexico City. Cayman defeated Bermuda, 17-14, in the third place consolation game after beating Jamaica, 15-12, in the quarterfinals. The local ladies lost playoff matches to Trinidad and Tobago, 20-5, in the semifinals and Jamaica, 31-10, in the plate semifinals. 

Cayman had a good showing in group play, finishing second in Pool B with a 2-1 mark. The ladies beat St. Lucia, 31-7, and crushed Turks and Caicos, 38-0, before losing to Trinidad, 19-14. The final result means local women missed out on an automatic berth to the 2015 Pan-American Games in Toronto, Canada. Winners Mexico would claim that honor. Trinidad finished runners-up while Jamaica won the plate segment. 

On the men’s side, Cayman claimed the plate consolation trophy by defeating Jamaica, 22-11. The local men rebounded from a 31-5 quarterfinal loss to Guyana to beat Bermuda, 19-12, in the plate semifinals. Guyana would emerge the overall champions and gain a berth to next year’s Pan-Am Games along with runners-up Mexico. Barbados ended up in third place. Cayman went 1-2 during group play to finish third in Pool C. The squad beat St. Vincent, 56-14, before losing to Guyana, 38-12, and Mexico, 35-0. 

Technical director for Cayman rugby Richard “Grizz” Adams witnessed the success of both sides as a team manager and said they played well with little rest. 

“Well done to both teams and thanks for the support,” Adams said. “The commitment and effort from everyone here was simply unbelievable despite being absolutely shattered. It was a privilege to be part of these teams and [see] everyone’s unending effort to make things as good as they possibly can. The management groups worked tirelessly and the commitment and effort of the players was simply astonishing. I was proud to be part of this.” 

Representing Cayman on the men’s side were Alex Pineau, Angel Hawkins, David Terry, Edward Westin, Joel Clark, Justin Wight, Keswick Wright, Kramer Bell, Mark Soto, Paul Westin and Taylor Wight. The women’s side were Avery-Ann Rankine, Cassianne Lawrence, Chrishaunna Trowers, Ciara Henry, Jenna Richards, Jodie McTaggart, Larissa Johnson, Marline Williams, Meylys Swaby, Shenel Gall, Tracey Seymour and Yasmin James. 

Days prior to the NACRA championships, both squads competed in Veracruz, Mexico, at the XXII Central American and Caribbean Games. The men’s team finished fifth, winning three of its six matches. In pool play, Cayman lost to Barbados, 31-7, and Colombia, 33-7, before thumping Bermuda, 20-5. In the quarterfinals, Cayman lost to Trinidad, 24-0, before defeating Costa Rica, 28-7, and the Barbadians, 14-10. Wright led the way with a team-high five tries. 

The ladies finished sixth out of six countries, losing all six of its matches and scoring just 12 points throughout the tournament. Cayman lost to Venezuela and Mexico by identical 39-0 scores before losing to Colombia, 34-0, Trinidad twice by scores of 20-5 and 37-0, and Jamaica, 36-7. Gall was Cayman’s top scorer with seven points (scoring a try and a conversion). 

Joel-Clark

Joel Clarke, middle, is one of Cayman’s best players. – PHOTO: MATTHEW YATES

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