Record numbers for summer touch rugby

By Mark Robson

The TRADEVIEW MARKETS Corporate Summer Touch Rugby League 2018 started in early June and runs through until late September. Year on year this sport grows and a record breaking 38 teams have signed up to compete in three Divisions. Over 500 players will take to the South Sound touch rugby pitches to test their mettle and run, pass and touch their way to silverware at the end of the season.

Now in its sixteenth year, Tradeview Markets has once again become title sponsors of possibly the largest single sports league in Cayman.

Touch is loved for its simple rules compared to the more traditional forms of rugby and the standard ranges across the spectrum from highly competitive to very social so there is a level that suits everyone.

Teams have three guys and three girls on the pitch at any one time. The basic principles are simple – run forwards, pass backwards and each team attempts to advance the ball up the field to score a touchdown. If you have the ball and get “touched” you have to stop and start the next phase, you get six phases or “touches” and if a touchdown is not scored then the ball gets turned over and the opposition have a go.

This year the Premier Division has been stripped down to a lean and mean 7 teams which will make it highly competitive in every game.  Last year’s Champions, Delta are back and looking to defend their title but will face stiff opposition from the young bucks of FFP and a representative side of Cayman Touch Association looking to blood players for the National Team which regularly travels to compete in the US Nationals. Old favourites such as Genesis Trust, Island Air, Walkers and Stepping Stones will all be keen to show their skills and grab vital points towards those play-off places.

The Invitational Division is a standard just below that of the Premier League but make no mistake this will be a tough division full of players that like to throw the ball around and score tries. Some teams, such as Heineken have come down from the Premier League and others such as the Titan Development Titans, an Under 14s team stacked with the next generation of Cayman developing rugby players, will endeavor to make their mark in a challenging division where the standard is pretty even from top to bottom. Teams include: DMS, Collas Crill, Harmonic, Heineken, Titan Development Titans, MUFG, Rawlinson & Hunter, Maples 1, Estera, KPMG 1, Deloitte Wildehonde, Island Heritage, DART, and PWC.

The Recreational Division is for those teams that are relatively inexperienced or prefer to take the sport less seriously. It is the perfect opportunity for those teams with new players to learn the ropes without being overwhelmed by those elite touch athletes that dominate the Premier Division. Just to show how inclusive this sport is the Cayman Rugby Trust has sponsored an Under 12 team to pit their wits against their adult opposition. But make no mistake, these kids have been playing since they were 4 years old and seem to be powered by everlasting batteries.

In this Division touchdowns scored by female players will score double. Teams using their full complement of players will do well in these divisions.

Teams competing in the Recreational Division: Harneys, Align, FTI Consulting, IT Outsource, Cayman Rugby Trust, CML:Nova, Aon, Maples 2, KPMG 2, Kensington, Mourant Ozannes, EY Cayman Ltd, Queensgate, Grant Thornton, Ogier, GCM, Intertrust.

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