Cayman Rugby suffered their first loss of the Rugby Americas North Regional qualifier 42-14 to developmental squad USA South Saturday (7 July) in Atlanta, Georgia.
Head Coach Garry Southway told Cayman 27 the starting team saw eight positional changes with Dan Florek, Conor Brady, Barry John-Goude, Darien Montague, Mikey Wilson, and Ian Smith all earning their place in the starting XV with captain Chris Kennedy and Jeffrey Robinson starting the game in a different position and role. The Americans, who cannot advance due to their developmental status for the largest United States squad dominated.
“First half, we didn’t see much of the ball. They kept possession well, they were in our half a lot. We gave away a few too many penalties, they kicked the points and kept us under pressure.”
Cayman will play the winner of Guyana vs Mexico in a one-game playoff for the right to enter the 2019 Americas Rugby Challenge. Southway says the USA South game gave team leadership a look at some players that will be needed if Cayman gains entry to the tournament hosted in South America.
“The whole idea behind the changes was to look at our extended squad because if we win the playoff game, we need a 30-man squad, 3 games in the 7 days.”
Cayman will host the one-game playoff in early 2019.