Cayman run out Plate champions at rugby sevens

| 07/07/2019 | 1 Comment
CNS Local Life
Cayman celebrates winning the Plate (Photos by Cayman Photography)

(CNS Local Life): The Cayman team may have fallen short in its quest for a top spot and a shot at qualifying for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, but the squad nevertheless gave the home crowd something to cheer about as they beat Guyana in the Plate final at the 2019 Rugby Americas North Sevens held this weekend at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex.

Rugby powerhouse Canada handily beat Jamaica 40-5 in the cup final, booking a place at the Olympics, while Jamaica and Mexico, which earlier thumped Bermuda 50-0 in the match for third place, will both get a shot to qualify at next year’s World Rugby Olympic Repechage. 

CNS Local Life
Jamaica tries to tackle Canada player in the Cup final

On the women’s side, Jamaica and Mexico played a back-and-forth final, with Jamaica leading 10-7 at the half, but eventually falling short by a 19-15 score line. However, both teams earned a place at the 2020 repechage for a chance to qualify for the Olympics.

CNS Local Life
Mexico gives chase to Jamaica during their Cup final clash

Cueme Parker opened the scoring for Cayman, with the two-point conversion making the score 7-0. Guyana followed with a try but missed the kick. With about 30 seconds left in the first half, Joel Clark ran it in and after another conversion, Cayman led 14-5 at the end of the half.

At about the six-minute mark of the second half, Justin Wight finished a strong run by bouncing over the line for Cayman’s third try, with another conversion for a 21-5 lead. Guyana made it over the line once more after an impressive individual run of almost the full pitch, for a final score of 21-10 and the Plate for Cayman.

CNS Local Life
Cayman captain Robbie Cribb in action against Guyana

Jovan Bowles, Cayman’s coach, while disappointed the team didn’t get deeper into the tournament, was proud of his squad’s efforts. “Overall, I’m super happy with the commitment of my players, but also at the same time, very very upset that we couldn’t accomplish the goal that we had set out, which was to be in the top three,” he told CNS.

Noting that Jamaica is a “very quality outfit” and Canada is a “top-tier country”, he added, “But for us to be there on home soil and be competitive in that arena is a challenge that we want to take on. We’ve been preparing ourselves for many years, not just for this season, so it’s a task that’s been put on us and we now just need to strive forward and accomplish this goal.”

Bowles declined to highlight any one player in the tournament saying the performance was a team effort, which also included the standby players and the management. “It was a massive team effort. We hold true to that,” he said. “We’re a family. We hold true to that ethos of committing and holding passion, not just for ourselves and for our country but for each other as a family.”  

As for building on what the team accomplished this weekend, Bowles said, “Going forward, we need to sit down and build up a new plan, a strategy that’s going to work, a strategy that’s going to take us into an outcome that’s positive for Cayman rugby sevens.”

The coach also pointed to new players who are coming up through the system. “They are exciting players that have a passion and commitment and I think the squad will increase by four or five quality players going into the new season. So, it’s a positive outlook based on what we achieved today, the Plate final champions, but there is still work to be done.”

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Category: Rugby, Sports

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  1. Anonymous says:

    As for building on what the team accomplished this weekend, Bowles said, “Going forward, we need to sit down and build up a new plan, a strategy that’s going to work, a strategy that’s going to take us into an outcome that’s positive for Cayman rugby sevens.”

    You don’t say….

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