Cayman’s historic rugby win!

Cayman ran past Guyana's Green Machine in front of an energised home crowd. (Photos and story by Ben Meade)

Cayman’s national XVs rugby team created history when they dominated Guyana in South Sound on Saturday, 9 February 2019 to advance from the regional group for the first time ever.

The Cayman Islands hosted their South American opponents in the playoff for the final spot in the 2019 Americas Rugby Challenge (ARCh) tournament and did not disappoint the home fans with a 58-14 rout. With the win, Cayman leapfrogged Trinidad and Tobago into ninth place in the Americas.

The local lads struck early when scrumhalf David Stringer punched on in for a try, with Mikey Wilson, captain Killian Everard and Paul Westin also scoring tries. Added to that, the cool-headed Morgan Hayward with the kick conversions gave the hosts a 29-0 lead at halftime.

Paul Westin dives for the emphatic finish.

Ben Blair, Justin Wight, Westin, Barry-John Goude, and Shane Westin all had second half tries to put the game on ice, with Guyana’s Godfrey Broomes and Ronald Mayers scoring tries late when the game was already in the bag.

“This was the biggest game that we have played at XVs level,” Wight told reporters after the game. “The coaches [and] the captain said come out hard; the first 10 minutes just come out hard and that’s what we did. We came out with the first step and just blasted them and the momentum just continued from there for the rest of the game.”

He admitted surrendering a game against a Cayman Select XV the week prior served as extra motivation to not let the home fans down. “That really lit a fire under us and really pushed us,” he said.

When Wilson scored, Cayman was clearly in control.

Captain Killian Everard savoured the moment. “It was such a nice game. It’s so great to be part of history,” he said. “We knew we were in for a tough game. The scoreboard probably flatters us just a little bit…It’s just the perfect storm. Everything we worked on all year just came together so nicely.”

Although a rout was on the cards from the first half, Everard gave insight as to when he thought they broke the will of the visiting side. “I think around the 60-minute mark when we were putting a few nice tries together, they were dropping a bit. I was trying to keep the guys focused but I had a little smile on my face at that stage because I knew we had done it.”

Head Coach Garry Southway said it came down to discipline and sticking to the game-plan. “I mentioned that if we stick to our pattern and our structure, then we know we can come out on top,” he said.

“We knew we would dominate the set pieces, we knew that, and we had a good start. Sometimes with rugby it’s all about momentum,” he said. “The first half was flawless rugby, we didn’t make any mistakes and we didn’t let them into the game.”

Wight: “This is where we put in all the hard work and this is where we put our blood, sweat and tears every Saturday and it’s great to have all of our support here.”

Adding to the atmosphere was the fact that the game was played at the Cayman Islands Rugby Club with Truman Bodden Sports Complex, the usual venue for international matches undergoing renovations for the CARIFTA Games in April. Fans were packed in close to the field, creating an intimate environment for both supporters and players.

“It’s a lot more fun here because this is where we train. This is where we put in all the hard work and this is where we put our blood, sweat and tears every Saturday and it’s great to have all of our support here, all our friends and family. Everyone’s on top of you, you just love the atmosphere.”

Southway said he looks to build on this big win, as he gets the players ready for their next challenge in the summer against tougher opposition.

Guyana fought to the end.



1 Jonny Gibson, 2 Andy Hall, 3 Peter de Vere, 4 Dylan Bostock, 5 Shane Cusack, 6 Sam Anderson, 7 Paul Westin, 8 Ben Blair, 9 David Stringer, 10 Morgan Hayward, 11 Iain Currie, 12 Justin Wight, 13 Mikey Wilson, 14 Cueme Parker, 15 Killian Everard (capt.) Replacements: 16 Joey Westin, 17 Shane Westin, 18 Jazeb Jones, 19 Andrew Mathias, 20 Barry John Goude, 21 Clive O’Mahony, 22 Ed Westin, 23 Darien Montague



1 Jason Tyrell, 2 Glenroy Poole, 3 Rhondel McArthur, 4 Kevon David, 5 Vallon Adams, 6 Richard Staglon, 7 Jamal Angus (capt), 8 Clyde Powell, 9 Ryan Gonsalves, 10 Lance Adonis, 11 Selwyn Henry, 12 Godfrey Broomes, 13 Ronald Mayers, 14 Ryan Dey, 15 Joseph Rahaman. Replacements: 17 Phabian Joseph, 18 Grantley Williams, 19 James Osborne, 20 Sean Phillips, 21 David Garnett, 22 Jamal Darnell, 23 Osie McKenzie, 24 Walter George.

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