Big wins for the DHL Storm and Buccaneers

| 04/02/2011

(CRFU): On a beautiful afternoon to kick off the 2011 Alex Alexander Memorial Cup, the Queensgate Pigs Trotters hosted the DHL Cayman Storm at the South Sound Rugby Club. The Cayman Storm were coming off a hard fought win over the John Doak Architect Iguanas in the Heineken Charity Shield the previous week, but had come through without injuries to key players, and the game had given the chance to clean out the off season rust. By comparison the Pigs had completely rebuilt their side in the offseason with some exciting young talent, but their inspirational Captain Doug Anderson was out with the questionable excuse of getting married.

With him were a number of key Pigs players, clearing their bench to field a team.

Despite this, the Pigs started off looking dangerous, Ian Curry, filling in forGraeme Thompson at 9 looked fast and skillful, as did their new look backline, making some early inroads into the Storm defense, and the Pigs pack looked dangerous at each scrum. Unfortunately the Pigs back row, despite having combined for 1,037 AA Caps, none of those caps were in the back row, and that made life difficult at each breakdown with the experienced Storm back row turning ball over frequently.

Former Pigs Captain, and epitome of a scrumhalf, Grammy Thompson, did his best to upset the Storm team, riling young West Indies star Josh Clarke up enough early on that Referee Alistair Robertson was forced to send him for a breather… but unfortunately it wasn’t enough. The Storm team was extremely well drilled, and despite the Pigs making their first up tackles, they were unable to slow the Storm offloading in the tackle and the support play of the experienced Storm team was excellent, leading to some early, and at times spectacular, team tries.

The game was played at a frenetic pace, and missing so many players, the Pigs simply could not maintain enough ball to keep in the game with Storm. Despite making the best of their limited opportunities – the highlight a fantastic break that lead to a great team try by Pigs fly-half Alex Harvey – that showed how dangerous this young Pigs team can be, the Storm were comfortable winners, 73-10.

Later in the day, The John Doak Architecture Iguanas fell to their 2nd defeat of 2011 having faltered to a well organised and powerful Krys & Associates Buccaneers team on 29 January.
Having clearly put the horrors of 2010 behind them the Buccaneers took the field with numbers to spare against an Iguana side still struggling to piece together a back line with real attacking prowess.

The Buccaneer pack, bolstered with the return of familiar faces like Richard “Grizz” Adams, Mark Stabler and Dan Anderson and a back line featuring Sam Sage and Phil O’Connor (who recently transferred from the DHL Storm) took time to gather steam but after 80 minutes ran out 25 point victors over a battered and tired Iguana side.

The Buccaneers opened the scoring first with an easy John Murphy penalty but the Iguanas were on equal pegging shortly after to leave the score 3-3 after 20 minutes.

The game looked to be heading for a tight, low scoring affair but before the stroke of half time the Buccaneers had scored the first try of the encounter with a Jacob Philips dash over the line and with a host of substitutions, most notably in the Buccaneer front row, the Buccs were able to capitalize on the building momentum to keep the Iguanas under mounting pressure.

Phil O’Connor’s scoring prowess impressed on his debut for the Buccaneers with an opportunistic try created from an Iguana lapse in concentration. A high ball from Buccaneer scrum half Sam Sage put Iguana full back Johnny Doak under pressure to then spill the ball for a chasing O’Connor to collect and score under the posts.

Sam Sage, returning from long term injury, was instrumental for the Buccaneers and managed to put points on the board for his team much to the surprise of all in attendance as many did not expect the Buccaneer scrum half to feature for more than a few minutes (if at all) this season.

Young Tom Mann once more saved face for the Iguanas by finishing off a hard worked try which saw the ball work its way up the midfield through the hands of numerous forwards to then see fly half Marcus Cumber chip the ball into the Buccaneer try area for Mann to touch down. With a Doak conversion and the continuing display of unbreakable defence, the Iguanas had reached their final tally of 10 points.

Having lost 2 games in succession in 2011 the Iguanas will look to re-start their season with a win over a very young Pigs side that were dealt a heavy beatingby the DHL Storm.
The Buccaneers on the other hand, happy with their bonus point win over the Iguanas face the DHL Storm next in what promises to be an exciting game for players and spectators and could dictate, even at this early stage who will win the league in 2011.

Next games: AA Cup 2nd Round:

5 February 2011
DHL Storm vs. Krys & Associates Buccaneers @200pm
Queensgate Pigs Trotters vs. John Doak Architecture Iguanas @4pm

All games are streamed worldwide on

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