The crash of the Titans

| 15/09/2011

(CRFU): The final round (Round 14) of the Summer Touch Rugby league gave us some great games, some great tries and some major upsets. Top teams in all three divisions were well beaten by teams they might expect to beat showing that reputation counts for little and that the standard of touch rugby in Cayman just gets better and better. The league standings are concluded now and teams are preparing themselves for the all important Finals Day where dreams can come true, hearts can be broken and great rugby rivalries and camaraderie can be experienced firsthand.

Maples1 beat Ogier 5-3 in a tense and scrappy game that saw the Maples defence at sixes and sevens in the first half. Ogier needed to win to stand any chance of getting into the top four play-off places, and they set about their task with relish. Onson Mukwedeya and James Waters continually burst through a slowly-retreating defensive line and it was only scrambling defence that kept the scores close. In offense Maples1 continued to spill chances and it was only their greater experience that made them take greater control of the second half and ultimately run out 5-3 winners. 

However, the warning signs were there and, in a makeup game from Round 13, DMS beat Maples1 3-2.   DMS have had a spluttering campaign this year but with some of their more experienced players restored to the line-up, they toppled the Mighty Maples. Tim Rossiter (2) and Johnny Doak (1) took advantage of mismatches in the Maples1 defence to go through gaps to score all too easily.

As the game progressed, the tension increased and referee Dan Andersen had to have strong words with several players on both sides for voicing unhelpful opinions. Maples1 pressed hard but couldn’t get the leveling score and they will need to regroup quickly if they are going to get back on track. Ogier’s defeat to Maples1 saw their chance of a top four spot disappear and Appleby will take fourth spot.
Genesis Five Nations comprehensively beat Appleby 9-3.

They have looked confident and efficient all year and they are peaking at just the right time, gathering more momentum than a greased-up hippo sliding down an Olympic bobsleigh run. Can anyone stop them? Well, I for one wouldn’t want to be at the bottom of that hill!  Unbeaten all season, they must go into the play-offs confident of taking the top prize.
Genesis Five Nations played Maples1 in a catch-up match from Round 11 winning 2-0 with tries from Venassio Toketokevanua and MVP Howard Byrne.

PWC recorded an easy (10-2) win over Walkers Blue Iguanas to guarantee third place in the league and consign Walkers to a winless season. As PWC prepare to take on 2nd place Maples1 in the play-offs, Walkers Blue Iguanas would do well to reflect on the words of that great philosopher Yazz – “The only way is up!”
In their round 14 game DMS silenced Team LIME with a hefty 11-1 victory, with Johnny Doak (3), Steve Henshaw (3) and Tim Rossiter (2) being the main scorers. One is left to conjecture just how good DMS might have been had they been able to field this team every time they stepped onto the pitch.

Table-toppers Trident Titans lost their six game unbeaten record to a spirited DART team. Dart were looking to be the only team to do the double over the league leaders and similarly, the Titans are a proud bunch and had the sweet smell of revenge in their nostrils.  But it was DART, and Neal Ainscow in particular, who got up their noses, winning 3-1. Drifting across the defensive line he spotted several gaps and burst through to score three superb individual tries in the first few minutes to render the Titans a mortal wound.  Down but not out, the Titans responded and it was only last ditch diving touches that stopped them get back into the game. They became increasingly frustrated through the half and it took a fine solo effort from James Waters just before half-time to get their first point on the board. 

One of the big transformations of this season has been DART’s defence and although Trident Titans pressed in the second half there was no way through. As the light faded and the rain fell, handling became more difficult. The conditions suited DART’s short passing game, whereas Trident Titans had to force the pace and with the ball like the proverbial bar of soap there were turnovers a-plenty. A last gasp touch by Riley Mullen prevented a diving Bryan Fitzgerald from extending DART’s lead.  

So, Trident Titans’ season ends on a down beat but they take first place in the league and must still go into the play-offs as favourites.  They’ll be glad they can’t play DART again until next year. DART can be proud of their end to the regular season and, with only two defeats in their last nine games, they will enjoy Finals Day in the Plate competition.

KPMG1 secured second spot in the Division against Harmonic winning out 6-5 in the end. On a pitch drenched after a tropical downpour KPMG1’s try threat came from all over the pitch with Gerhard Albertyn, Philip Fourie, Neil Montgomery, JS de Jager and Ben Blair all scoring. Gavin McMaster (2) played another great game for Harmonic and Tim Rossiter also got a brace.

Maples2 pulled out a great performance against Happyfish Ticklers, their main rivals for the third spot.  5-1 was the final score and Marc Randall was the MVP.  Other notables included Hugh Thompson, Bobeth O’Garro and the Ginger Ninja himself Andrew Dean.
Campbells laid down a marker against UBS winning 6-4.

These two may well play each other in the Division 2 Plate competition on Finals Day, so it’s always good to get one over on a rival. Missing top try scorer Dicky Sawle-Thomas, Campbells may have feared that their main try threat was missing. However, team spirit counts for a lot and they all stood up and shared the tries between Peter de Vere, Johnny Doak, Karen Hart-Thomas, Jyoti Choi and Marcus Cumber. UBS, who have lost their last three games of the season, kept on battling and notched up four tries of their own.


The Swiss are famous for their clocks and one of the largest clocks in the world is often referred to as Big Ben. That one resides adjacent to the Houses of Parliament in London, but Credit-Suisse has their own Big Ben right here in Grand Cayman in the shape of “Big” Ben McDonald.

Credit-Suisse played Deloitte, the No.1 ranking team in the Division, who were looking for a glorious end to the regular season. Big Ben certainly called time on that and, showing great hands and movement, clocked up five tries. A confirmed member of the front-row union, McDonald can be usually found propping up the scrum in the 15-aside version of the game. But on this day he went through the gears and showed his class by opening his legs and out-sprinting the defence from the halfway line not once but twice. Deloitte responded with tries from Riley Mullen (3) and Dean Curtis (2), but the pendulum swung back in favour of Credit-Suisse, and they eventually ran out winners 8-5. As time ran out for Deloitte, it was Credit-Suisse who chimed the victory bell.

Ernst & Young, formerly known as 1960’s Californian folk-rock-combo Crosby, Stills, Ernst and Young, played their final game of the season against Queensgate Grizz’s Old Fellas. Whilst David Crosby and Stephen Stills have led fairly tumultuous lives as rock’n’roll stars, Ernst & Young went on to form a highly successful accountancy company here in Cayman. Really? No, not really! But with only one win all season, and that being against the Old Fellas, Ernst & Young set about their task with sweet relish. With “John McEnroe-circa-1980’s-look-a-like” George Mervitz running around like a man who was late for his own wedding, they were imbued with an energy beyond anything the Old Fellas could muster, ultimately winning 6-4.

With nothing on the game other than a chance for a good run out, GCM beat Island Heritage 5-4. Two tries a-piece for Dave O’Driscoll and Phil Fourie, and one from Niall O’Sullivan gave GCM the win but the truly stand-out moment came in the second half when Island Heritage managed to get the ball out to Marvin Gordon on the wing on the halfway line. What happened next was sheer poetry. As he sprinted toward the corner two GCM defenders took off in pursuit with the aim of cutting off his angle to the try-line. Gordon spied the danger and immediately spun through ninety degrees to completely wrong foot the first defender who was left clutching thin air.

The last remaining defender now stood between him and glory. Gordon jackknifed again, spinning on a dime (that’s sixpence in old money) and completely faked the defender who just rocked back on his heels and watched the try go down. Spontaneous and raucous applause from the bleachers was met with a big smile from Marvelous Marvin. Try of the week! 

KPMG2 beat Rawlinson &Hunter 6-5 in a tight game that showed why both teams have had good seasons to date. Conrad Proud scored another three tries to take him to 29 for the season and makes him the only player to score in all 14 rounds of the competition.

However, his three tries were overshadowed by a splendid performance from Neil Montgomery of KPMG2 who notched up four of his own to take the Player of the Match award.

Player of the Week: This week’s Heineken Touch Playerof the Week goes to “Marvelous” Marvin Gordon for his get-you-out-of-your-seat try for Island Heritage. A bucket of six thirst-quenching Heinekens await you at the rugby club bar.

Division 1 Results
DMS 11 v. 1 Team LIME
Walkers Blue Iguanas 2 v. 10 PWC
Maples 1 5 v. 3 Ogier
Genesis Five Nations 9  3 Appleby
Division 2 Results    
KPMG1 6 v. 5 Harmonic
DART 3 v. 1 Trident Titans
UBS 4 v. 6 Campbells
Happyfish Ticklers 1 v. 5 Maples2
Division 3 Results    
GCM 5 v. 5 Island Heritage
Credit Suisse 8 v. 5 Deloitte
KPMG2  v.  Rawlinson & Hunter
Ernst & Young 6 v. 4 Queensgate Grizz’s Old Fellas
ROUND 11   
Maples 1 0  2 Genesis Five Nations
ROUND 12   
Maples 1 WIN v. LOSS PWC (Defaulted)
ROUND 13   
Maples 1 2 v. 3 DMS


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