The Cayman Islands national men’s rugby sevens settled for a victory in the Plate finals Sunday (7 July) while Canada’s men and Mexico’s women booked their ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics at the Rugby Americas North (RAN) Sevens qualifier held 6-7 July at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex.
Playing in Pool B, Cayman finished the group stage with three points after a 47-0 loss to Jamaica, a 19-10 loss Trinidad & Tobago, and a 14-12 win over regional rival Guyana.
“Three handling errors in the first half, 21 points down at half, you can’t afford to make those mistakes like that in the world stage,” said Head Coach Jovan Bowles of their game versus Jamaica. “We needed to play through the phases of the game.”
Facing Group A’s second place team Mexico in Sunday’s quarterfinals, Cayman went down 12-0 at half. However, a second half run from Justin Wight moved Cayman down the field in aim of cutting the deficit in half. After Wight was tackled just yards short of the try line, Cueme Parker picked up the loose ball for the try to make it 12-7. That was as close as Cayman would get, eliminating them from 2020 Olympic qualification. They went onto beat Barbados 19-12, and win the Plate final 21-10 over Guyana.
“We definitely thought we had a good chance,” said captain Robbie Cribb. “Looking at Mexico the past couple of years, we hadn’t done so well. Looking at them this year, knew we had a shot. Even being down 12-0 at half, we were never out of it. Going into day two, we definitely expected a semifinal. A few calls didn’t go our way, but hats off to Mexico, they played right until the end.”
In the men’s final, Canada maintained an undefeated record to qualify for Tokyo Olympics with a 40-5 win over Jamaica, while the Mexico women are headed to Tokyo after a 19-15 win over Jamaica.
By way of finishing second and third, Jamaica and Mexico gained entry into the World Rugby Olympic Repechage in June 2020.
Here are the final rankings from the Rugby 7s Olympic Qualifier
5th: Cayman Islands
7th: Trinidad and Tobago