Big fun in touch rugby leagues

By Cayman Rugby

At the half way stage of the season the four Divisions in the CTI Global Mixed Touch Rugby League 2016 are starting to take shape. With thirty-five teams playing this summer fixtures are coming as thick and fast as Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne sliding down the North Face of the Eiger in a bathtub. So with a sharp intake of breath here is a rundown on the season so far.

In the Premier League, the fans are starting to ask if the dominance of SteppingStones over the past few seasons is coming to an end. After seven games it is Island Air, the perennial bridesmaids, who sit atop the table. Will this be the time they get lucky or will the bouquet once again go sailing over their head into the arms of a better looking member of the wedding party? With the mighty SteppingStones only fourth (albeit having played one game less) they are still a threat but low squad numbers and losing a number of key players makes you wonder if they finally trodden on the wobbly stone to fall head first into the murky depths? It’s too early to write them off just yet.

Island Air has played seven, won seven and have put in some electric performances too. With their own version of the Bald and the Beautiful, the imperious Dave Stringer and Ian Smith have been calling the shots. Oliver Braithwaite has been influential along with Marcus “rubber legs” Rowe. The women have been spectacular too with Kaili Kappler, Brid Verling, Emma Carroll, Jenna Richards and Wiki Hitchman all strong in defence and attack. Old timers Brad Stephenson and Nic Swartz are channeling their inner Cher as they turn back time with some exhilarating performances. Tiaan Nauta, the teams own version of Stretch Armstrong, adds youth (and length) to their efforts and, of course, the whole thing is held together by the glue (or is that hair gel) of Mr. Island Air himself, Marcus Cumber.

Genesis Five Nations are also having a cracking year. With their own version of Roman Abramovich (Roger Priaulx) collecting Touch stars such as Neil Montgomery, Chris Ehlers, Marcus Cubillo and young Phil Pretorius like trophies on a game hunters wall, they have demolished lesser sides. Add in the Methuselah-esque venerability of the Lisa and Mick Kehoe, Edel and Dan Andersen, and Priaulx himself and you have a potent mix.

CML quietly go about with their business in third. Like a cruising 1500m runner on the shoulder of the pacemaker they are easing their way through the games and look set to burst through in the latter stages of the Division to claim the golden prize. Don’t bet against it.

In the Invitational Division, Harmonic are sounding sweet at the top of the table. Winning six out of seven should leave them feeling good and with Niall O’Driscoll and Mark Soto running the show they look good for the rest of the season. It is a real scrap for second place with Rawlinson & Hunter, Maples2, MUFG and CTA Highbury Women vying for the top places. After a slow start the CTA Highbury women are scoring tries for fun and starting to dominate their opposition more than Miss Whiplash in her Dungeons of Delight.

In Recreational Divisions A & B it is noticeable that youth is a defining factor – youth, plus some electric rugby skills of course. Fund Fiduciaries U15s are unbeaten in Recreational B with their blitzkrieg plays of pace, skill, energy and style. They are squashing all before them like a Toyota Tundra on the Queens Highway in land crab season. Opponents are simply unable to cope with the relentless speed of their attacks, becoming winded and punch drunk by the constant blows to the midriff of their defence. Standout performances from Tommy Kehoe, Ewan Wilson and Doug Rowland show that the future of Cayman Rugby is in in good hands (literally). Collas Crill are in second place with a new team that have been practising hard and reaping the rewards, their only defeat coming against Fund Fiduciaries.

Genesis New Order may sound like an überpower from the Dark Side in the next Star Wars movie but are also a team of young people showing their skills in Recreational A. In second place, this scratch team of rosy-cheeked scamps are performing well although lagging behind the imperious Greenies who top the table with five wins out of seven.

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