Cayman rise in world rankings
Cayman took time to get its game flowing against a dogged defensive performance from the Bahamas for the first 40 minutes in front of an estimated 1,500 spectators. A lone Morgan Hayward penalty kick was the only score separating the two teams after 40 minutes in what was building towards a mirror-image of the Bermuda game played only the week before.
Half Time Cayman 3-0 Bahamas
A converted Ben Blair drive over try from a Cayman lineout secured by Cayman lock Yohann Regnard gave Cayman some much-needed breathing room to take the game to 10-0. Cayman’s opening try started a flow of points for the local boys, which featured a Vanassio Tokotokovanua try and two Robbie Cribb tries to earn the team not only a win, but a much-needed bonus point.
Bahamas earned a consolation try with the final play of the game, when powerful no. 8 Devon Woodside crossed the line to ring in the final whistle in front of a jubilant home crowd.
Final Score Cayman 27-7 Bahamas
The bonus point win over the Bahamas and the bonus point loss against Bermuda puts Cayman in a strong position going into the 9 June clash between Bahamas and Bermuda The defensively weak second half performance by the Bahamas will raise doubts that they will be successful at home against the current Caribbean champs, but Cayman will be cheering on the Bahamas in their next venture. Should the Bahamas lose to Bermuda, the Cayman National XV’s Caribbean Champs and World Cup Qualification process will be over.
The win over the Bahamas sees Cayman leapfrog Barbados and Singapore in the IRB world rankings to 66 and secures Cayman’s position as the fourth highest-ranked Caribbean nation behind Trinidad and Tobago, Bermuda and Guyana.
Should the Bahamas beat Bermuda and the Cayman Men’s XV progress to their second Caribbean Championship Final, they will likely meet either Guyana or Trinidad and Tobago away on 23 June.