Cayman rugby squad soars up world rankings

| 08/05/2014

(CNS): The Cayman Islands became the biggest climbers of the latest IRB World Rankings with a five-place elevation to 58th after beating the Bahamas 35-7 in a warm-up to the NACRA (North American Caribbean Rugby Association) Championships recently. The win lifted the national rugby squad to within one place of its highest ever position since the rankings were introduced in October 2003, while also condemning the Bahamas to a three-place fall to 92nd. Richard Grizz Adams from the CRFU said the weekend trip to the Bahamas was a massive success all round as every Cayman team remained unbeaten.

The Cayman Mens XV in Freeport, Bahamas on 3 May was the first international match of the 2014 season and the team came away with a 35-7 victory moving them up from 63rd to 58th in the rankings. A win at the next fixture against Bermuda will elevate them to their highest ever world ranking.

The game started in the best possible way with Robbie Cribb getting over to score a try in the opening minute of the game as well as converting the attempt to add the extra 2 points. Bahamas then retaliated with a fantastic piece of individual skill by their No 10 Connor Albury who expertly chipped through for a score under the posts as well as adding the extras to bring the score to 7-7 with 6 minutes of the game underway.

Cayman then went on to pressure the Bahamas for an extended period and made the breakthrough with captain Chris Kennedy getting the 2nd try for Cayman. Robbie Cribb added the extras once again and the scores where now 14-7 with 22 minutes gone. At the 30 minute mark Eddie Westin skipped his way through 3 defenders to score Caymans 3rd try with Robbie Cribb adding the extras again to make it 21-7. From the restart, a rash tackle by the Bahamian no 7 on Cayman’s Yohann Regnard resulted in a yellow card and Bahamas where now down a man for the next 10 minutes.

Play was temporarily suspended at half time due to lightning in the vicinityand play got underway again after a 45 minute break. On the 69 minute mark, Eddie Westin raced in for Caymans 4th try and Marco Du Plessis added the extras to take Cayman to a commanding 28-7 lead with 10 mins of regular play left. 3 minutes later Eddie Westin went in for his 3rd try of the game and Marco Du Plessis successfully converted to make it 35-7 which was the final score of the match.

Eddie Westin was awarded the man of the match for his fantastic performance on the day and Cayman retained the Becks Cup which is awarded to the winning team between Cayman and Bahamas.

Scorers:
Tries: Eddie Westin (3), Robbie Cribb , Chris Kennedy
Conversions: Robbie Cribb (3), Marco Du Plessis (2)

Cayman Team: Phil Fourie, Jason Scarff, Pete De Vere, Yohann Regnard, Paul Smith, Chris Kennedy (Captain), Eddie Westin, Ben Blair, Robbie Cribb, Marco Du Plessis, Alex Pineau, Josh Brown, Keswick Wright, Cueme Parker, Chris Palmer, Richard Adams, Paul Westin, Jacob MacAdam, Dan Bond, Venasio Tokatokavanua, Michael Sumares, Adam Keenan, Garrett Connolly

“The Cayman U10, U12, U14 and U16 all put together dominant performances in every match against Bahamas and Key Biscayne teams,” said Adams, adding that the U10 drew their first game but went on to win all others.

“Each team played either three or four matches over the weekend and all the hard work of the coaching staff was very evident as the Cayman players tackled with venom against much bigger opposition,” Adams said

This is the fourth year in a row that the Cayman teams have travelled to Freeport for the tournament chartering a flight and taking a party of one hundred and twenty people for the weekend. “The addition of the U16 team was a massive boost and the National Senior Men’s team retaining the Becks CupV Bahamas was also a great addition to the weekend,” the local Rugby leader said.

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