Vase finals delayed

Rugby tournament on hold due to COVID-19

The Fidelity Cayman Storm beat the John Doak Tradeview Markets Iguanas in the Vase rugby semi-finals, 34-23.

The on-field clash between Fidelity Cayman Storm and the John Doak Tradeview Markets Iguanas, scheduled for this weekend’s rugby Vase finals, has been cancelled due to concerns over COVID-19. However, in the semi-finals last weekend at the South Sound rugby pitch, the Storm, who won the season’s Alex Alexander Memorial Cup, beat the
Advance Fire and Plumbing Buccaneers 34-23 to advance to the tournament’s final round.

Both teams got off to a good start, with Storm’s Cornal Keane getting the first six points after converting two penalties. That was followed by another penalty from Buccaneer’s Shakur Welcome and a try from teammate Matthew Hanson to take the Bucs ahead early. However, after going back and forth, at the end of the first half, it was the Storm who were ahead 24-23. In the final 20 minutes of the game, Storm started to pull away, showcasing
their kicking dominance, and gaining a penalty and a conversion from Keane, and a try from teammate Dan John to win 34-23.

In the second Vase semi-finals, the John Doak Tradeview Iguanas came out on top against the Queensgate Pig Trotters in a match that ended 30-27. The Iguanas got the first try, from a simple defensive error that allowed Quintin Herbst to get his team five points. That didn’t discourage the Pigs Trotters, though, as they came out of the first half ahead by two points. In the second half, however, each team locked down their opponent on defence, not allowing the opposition to convert a try. But it was Iguanas’ Jack Walters, with a penalty in the final seconds of the game, who sealed the
30-27 victory.

“Both teams gave it their everything. It was great to see such competitiveness so late in the season,” said technical director of Cayman rugby Jovan Bowles. “Obviously, the
Vase competition has been with the union for many, many years, and a lot of players reset their ideas from the season … Working away from the Heineken charity shield at the
beginning of the season and pushing themselves through the Alex Alexander and, finally, having a Vase. So, it’s a great opportunity for a lot of the teams to push through and get some silverware.”

The Pigs Trotters were scheduled to play against the Buccaneers for bronze in the Vase, while the Iguanas were set to take on the Storm for first and second place, but that has been put off until further notice, like every other sporting event in the Cayman Islands.

“As COVID-19 becomes a close reality for many of us, we have taken a number of steps to minimise the risks of exposure. Our primary responsibility has to be the health and safety of our membership – players, volunteers, employees and everyone involved with the CRFU
(Cayman Rugby Football Union),” stated rugby president Mick Kehoe.

He added, “We have cancelled all junior rugby programmes and competitions, which brings our junior season to an unfortunate early end. The CRFU has also suspended all men’s and women’s rugby programmes until 14 April 2020, at which time we will reassess the situation.” Kehoe said the South Sound club, pitch and facilities will be closed to the public.

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