The Cayman men’s national sevens team made history finishing an unprecedented 2nd in the North American and Caribbean Rugby Association Regional Rugby Sevens tournament that was held in Barbados November 12th and 13th. Sixteen countries participated in the event including Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Jamaica, Cayman, St Vincent, St Lucia, USA South, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Turks and Caicos, Curacao, Mexico, Martinique, Guadeloupe & British Virgin Islands.
On Saturday Cayman beat USA South 12 to 7 and then Bermuda 19 to 0 to cement their place in the cup rounds on Sunday, before losing to Mexico 7 to 5 with Mexico scoring 2 minutes into injury time at the end of the match. It was Cayman’s first ever win over USA South and Bermuda.
On Sunday they faced Trinidad & Tobago recently back from the commonwealth games and another nation Cayman had not beaten in sevens. Cayman beat T & T 12 to 7 to advance to the semi final and face last year’s losing finalist Jamaica. Cayman beat Jamaica 12 to 0 to advance into the final where they faced Guyana who returned from the Pan Am games two weeks ago and who have been Champions for the past five years.
Hopes were high in the Cayman camp but mistakes in the first ten minute half cost Cayman the win. Cayman did hold out in the second half not to concede any further points and take the game back to Guyana but it was all too little to late and Guyana won their sixth title and a trip to the Hong Kong sevens in 2012. It was a bittersweet moment for reflection and then joy.
It was a fantastic effort from the Cayman Islands and the squad showed that they have made massive strides during 2011 and will continue to improve and compete at ever higher levels.
2012 will see the Rugby Sevens World Cup of Sevens qualifiers and Cayman has it’s sights firmly set on making the Rugby sevens world cup finals at that tournament.
Head coach and Director of Rugby Richard Grizz Adams was delighted’ These guys have done a massive amount of work, not just this year but over the past five or six years in most cases. It has been a massive financial investment from both the Union, individual players, CIOC, Maples ( through the national Academy) and The department of sports to fund the travel and development of the team. It remains however a huge issue of cost if we are to continue to develop this team. We have to travel and play in world class tournaments and that means, Canada, USA, South America or Europe and that is expensive. We are so close and could have a real chance in 2012 at the Rugby world cup qualifiers and of course I still have my eyes firmly set on 2016 Rio.’