Bermuda braced for tough game against Cayman
Bermuda’s national rugby team must defeat Cayman Islands in their final NACRA Caribbean Championship game to avoid having to qualify for next year’s competition.
The Islanders, who won last year’s tournament, will be looking to bounce back from their recent home defeat against USA South when they take on Cayman on Saturday.
The loser will have to qualify for the North Zone second round stage next year.
Roedolf Van der Westhuizen, who has replaced Lawrence Bird as Bermuda’s head coach, admits it will be a tall order to defeat Cayman in their own backyard.
“It’s not going to be an easy game it will arguably be tougher than playing USA South because Cayman traditionally play a similar style of rugby to ourselves,” he said.
“It’s going to be a hard-fought battle against Cayman. I know Cayman are looking to get a crowd of 3,000 at the game. I don’t know whether that’s possible, but I actually think we play better away from home.
“When you’re on the road you are together as a team for 72 hours before the game which helps to unify the team.”
Bermuda will be missing forward Dustin Archibald who was sent off against USA South at the National Sports Centre.
Van der Westhuizen said his team unable to call up a replacement due to NACRA’s late decision to ban Archibald for the Cayman match.
“I’d like to say preparations have been perfect but we’ve had a deal with a red card hearing for Dustin Archibald, which was badly dealt with by NACRA,” he said.
“They postponed the hearing and we only found out this morning, which put us in a little bit of a bad spot because we didn’t have a contingency plan, so we’re going to Cayman without a replacement for him.”
Cayman lost to USA South 9-7 in their opening match of the Caribbean Championship. Neither Bermuda or Cayman can reach this year’s final, with USA South topping the North Zone group.