Cayman beats Mexico in Big Game 8

A strong second half performance saw Cayman Islands upset Mexico 39-17 at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex on 17 June in the final game of their Rugby Americas North Championship series.

Coming of a rebound win against Bermuda (28-15) a couple of weeks prior, which followed a loss to USA South 34-4 on 14 May, the national side, sponsored by RHSW Caribbean, was eager for the match-up against Mexico for Health City Cayman Islands Big Game 8.

Though it was pouring buckets, that did not dampen the intensity of both squads. Mexico took the early lead but Cayman kept it close and the first half ended with the visitors holding a slight 17-15 edge.

“I think in the first half, we worked incredibly hard but we didn’t really play the conditions. It was pouring down with rain, the ball got slippery and we were trying to move the ball through five, six, seven sets of hands,” said national team coach Garry Southway.

“We needed to stop playing attractive rugby for the crowd and just play rugby that would win us the game,” he added.

Whatever was said in the changing room at the half, seemed to work as RHSW Cayman scored 24 unanswered points and shutout their opponents en route to a 39-17 victory over Los Serpientes.

“That was really hard work but those are the kind of games that you like to win,” captain Chris Kennedy told “It’s huge. To come out here and win is great. Being part of this was just brilliant.”

The win sees Cayman Islands move ahead of Mexico in the latest word rankings. Cayman is now 11th in the Americas and 56th in the world, while Mexico falls to 12th in the Americas and 57th in the world.

“I think it’s our highest victory for a long while. The boys, from 1-23, played very, very well and we didn’t make mistakes. Mexico must have dropped the ball about 20-odd times. We dropped the ball a handful of times, and that was the difference, I think,” Southway said.

Members of the victorious Cayman Islands team with sponsors from Health City Cayman Islands.

Player/manager Peter De Vere described it was a monumental win. “They were the favourites but we knew that we had opportunities to make the difference. That’s exactly what we did. We knew that we could play tight with this wet weather, keep the ball in hand, don’t give their back line a sniff of the ball and we could win this game,” he said.

“It’s been a long time coming. We lost to them two times in a row. So, this is redemption for us.”

So, what was it that was said in the changing room that spurred the turnaround for the Cayman crew?

“Management were saying we were down but they had scored some breakaway tries. All of our tries had been through hard work and good play. If we were ever going to do it, this would be our chance. So, just to maintain the intensity and not to let it slip,” Kennedy said.

It did not and fans, who got drenched in the stands, were more than happy with the outcome, as it was the first win against Mexico on home soil since Big Game 1 in 2010. Cayman now leads the all-time series between the two 5-4.

Mexixan players sing their national anthem

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