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Rugby: T & T drop out of RAN, Cayman vs Bermuda now a ‘win and advance’ game

‘Big Game Nine’ just got a little bigger.

Cayman 27 News has learned Trinidad & Tobago have dropped out of the 2018 Rugby Americas North Championships Regional Qualifiers. The trickle down effect leaves Cayman in a one-game playoff with Bermuda Saturday (9 June) in their opening game of the qualifying stage. With USA South ineligible to advance due to it’s developmental status for it’s national men’s team, Cayman Head Coach Garry Southway says the margin for error is thin.

“Every game is important, but this game Saturday has a different level of importance. It’s about progressing to the next level, and the next league. Every year we won a bunch a games and lost one, and the that you lose is the one that stops you from progressing.”

Cayman has defeated Bermuda the past two years, both home and away. However, the loss of Trinidad and Tobago isn’t simply about eliminating an opponent: the players now lose valuable international experience.

“The problem we face with the Trinidad withdrawal is that it brings a huge gap between the playoff and our last game in Atlanta at USA South.”

If Cayman wins Saturday, they will play the winner of Guyana and Mexico in what Southway says will be ‘early 2019’. The winner of that playoff advances to the newly formed 2019 Rugby Americas Challenge. With Cayman’s roster featuring 8 of 16 new players, Southway says he’s confident the team will get the job done.

“We’re confident, but we still have to earn the victory. The year before last we had 12 guys retire from the team. Last year we had a few more. A lot came from our Under-19 program. I think we have an interesting blend of experience and age, with youth and fitness. I think we will keep a high tempo game because the Bermuda side had a number of older guys.”

Here is a look at the roster for Saturday’s ‘Big Game Nine’ which kicks off at 4:00 pm at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex:

1. Jordan Southway
2. Andy Hall
3. Jonny Gibson
4. Shane Cusack*
5. Chris Kennedy (Captain)
6. Jeffrey Robinson*
7. Shane Westin
8. Ben Blair (Vice Captain)
9. Dave Stringer*
10. Morgan Shelver
11. Iain Currie
12. Phil Parker*
13. Venasio Tokatokavanua
14. Justin Wight
15. Killian Everard*
16. Richard Adams
17. Dan Florek
18. Peter De Vere
19. Dylan Bostock*
20. Mark Soto
21. Robbie Cribb
22. Morgan Hayward
23. Ian Smith*
24. Barry John Goude*

*National XV debut




About the author

Jordan Armenise

Jordan Armenise

From Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, Jordan Armenise began his sports broadcasting journey with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League. It was in this role where he was able to merge his best attributes: sports knowledge and personality. While with the Ticats, Jordan provided live analysis and interviews while developing a digital portfolio of one-on-one interviews, episodic sports comedy and full length sports & news features. He has also worked with CBC Sports for Hockey Night in Canada, the 2014 Sochi Olympics and Special Olympics as well as roles with Cineflix and Cream Productions as an Assistant Director.

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