Rugby youngsters set for next test after triumph

The Cayman Islands national men’s Under-19 rugby team competed in the North America and Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) Championships in Orlando and brought home the winning Plate Trophy. 

It was ideal preparation for competing in the Samoa 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games next month. 

Cayman beat USA South B 20-8 and Turks and Caicos 29-27 last month in the NACRA championships. This means Cayman U19s move back up into Division A for 2016. 

Mexico won the overall championship and is the team to beat in 2016. 

Cayman’s U-19 coach Garry Southway, said, “Last year, we had a young team who hadn’t had much team experience with international competition and we lost our Division A ranking. 

“No one was happy about that and the players have worked very hard this year to claim that Division A status back. We are very pleased with [this] year’s result and had a very strong finish to the tournament and look forward to facing off with the likes of Mexico in 2016.” 

Final team ranking in Division A: Mexico, USA South A, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados. Division B was: Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos, USA South B, Bermuda. 

Team manager Stuart Bostock said, “We were very pleased with the result and couldn’t be more proud of the young men who competed. They showed great professionalism on and off the pitch and were an overall credit to our sponsors and the Cayman Islands.” 

The squad was comprised of Jordan Southway (captain), Henry Bolton (vice captain), Jackson Wight, Daniel Conolly-Foster, Matteo Polloni, Michael Titcombe, Dylan Bostock, Alex Robertson, Iain Robertson, Patrick Taylor, Liam Kay, Cameron Bridgeman, Michael Matthews, Zac Hutchison, Miles Lumsden, Daniel Smith, Mark Westin, Jacob Pierre, Benedict Lowe, Abdull Patterson, Maurice Rockett-McLaughlin, Piers Davies and Shakur Welcome. 

Cayman has been competing in the NACRA tournament for nine years and in that time has won the main division five times. 

Corporate donations play a vital part in the sport’s development and the U-19s said they were grateful to have the support of Dart, Fidelity, Maples, IT Outsource, The Security Centre Ltd., Appleby, Home Gas, Comfort Suites, Island Air, Red Sail Sports and the Cayman Islands Government to allow them to compete at the NACRA championship. 

Richard “Grizz” Adams, technical director of Cayman Rugby Club said, “Cayman is producing some very talented players through a comprehensive sports development program through the support of coaches, medical professionals, parents and sponsors. 

“This latest win for Cayman’s U-19s proves we have what it takes to compete internationally at all levels. We look forward to seeing what this talented team can do in September in the Samoa 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games.” 

Cayman’s U-19 rugby team won the NACRA Championship for the fifth time in nine years.