U19 rugby side hungry for success

Members of the DART Cayman Islands National U19 Men’s XV’s rugby team say they’re hungry for results and eager to bring home some silverware from the Rugby Americas North (RAN) U19 Championships that begin in Miami this weekend.

Day one of competition will see Cayman face off against Bermuda on Saturday, 15 July and each game is a must win situation as there are no pool stages.

“Definitely coming into this first game against Bermuda, we want to blow them out the water. Play as well as we possibly can, get the win and then take it game by game from then and try and get the best outcome,” said captain Iain Robertson.

Dylan Bostock, another veteran of the squad, said the team is eager to improve on recent results and emerge top of the heap.

“I think we are hungry to prove what we didn’t prove last year – we had a very close game against Mexico, which didn’t go our way. I know a lot of the returning guys are hungry to make that impact statement,” Bostock told CaymanSportsBuzz.com.

Other competing teams include USA Rugby South A, Mexico, Turks and Caicos Islands, Trinidad & Tobago, and Jamaica.

Zac Hutchinson said they don’t want to be known as a squad who made the trip to make up numbers but show they can compete with the best in the region.

“We’re definitely striving for silverware this year. We were unlucky to come very close with Mexico…I feel like we are always under the pump when we are playing hard and I feel when we’re under the pump, we stick together,” he said.

Another player, Patrick Taylor, said he witnessed the desire of his teammates to put in the necessary work to get the desired results in Florida. “I think we’ve all made a commitment…coming down for extra sessions and putting in the extra work because we really want to bring back silverware,” Taylor said in an interview with CaymanSportsBuzz.com.

Matteo Polloni also spoke about the team gelling as a unit due to the coaching and their commitment to the cause. “I think we have come a very long way as a team from where we were very disorganised [on the pitch] to where we are moving very smoothly and I think we have a good shot of lifting some silverware this year,” he said.

If Cayman win against Bermuda, they will play the winner of Jamaica vs. USA South A on Tuesday, 18 July, in the semi-finals. A win then would see Cayman play in the finals on Saturday, 22 July.

The full squad is: (Forwards) – Iain Robertson, Patrick Taylor, Ernest Bennett III, Dylan Bostock, Graeme Hill, Michael Matthews, Duncan Petrie, Matteo Polloni, Tyler Lawson, Callum Smith, Ben Boyd, Matthew Westin. (Backs) – Trey Milgate, Zac Hutchison, Daniel Link, Thomas Sperandeo, Ciaran Touhey, Jack Tonge, Josh Bolland, Johanan Eugene, Jacob Pierre.

Management: Noel Phillips (Head Coach), Alex Robertson (Assistant Coach), Edward Westin (Tour Manager), Olan Daly (Analyst), Rejuan Henry (Physiotherapist), Jovan Bowles (Head of Cayman Rugby).

Sponsors include: Dart, Cayman Junior Rugby Development Trust, Maples, Fidelity, Security Centre, IMS, Home Gas, Advance Fire, Saxon, Workplace Environments, Red Sail Sports.

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