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Mixed fortunes for rugby teams

Bermuda's rugby teams enjoyed a mixed level of success at the North American and Caribbean Regional Association Sevens tournament this week.

The women claimed fourth place in their competition, while an injury hit men's team finished seventh.

Wins over Bahamas and St Lucia helped the women's team finish two places higher than last year, an achievement Kerry Heigham, the team manager, described as “awesome”.

“We're extremely proud of the fourth place,” Heigham said. “The team performance over the two days was outstanding, they worked hard in both defence and attack and stuck to their game plan. They can be very proud of themselves and the coaching team couldn't have asked for more.”

Juliette Ferrari-McComb, making her debut for Bermuda in the tournament, scored in Bermuda's thumping 34-0 win over Bahamas in the pool stages, where the team also beat Jamaica 17-5, but lost to hosts Mexico 31-0. The two wins set up at quarter-final clash with St Lucia, and tries from Caroline Aberhart and Deneka Borden, set Bermuda on their way to a 12-5 win and a semi-final clash with Mexico.

Mexico won that encounter 31-0, and in the third and fourth play-off, Bermuda lost narrowly to Cayman Island's 17-14, with Gillian Cross and Kelli Nusum scoring in a game Bermuda came desperately close to winning at the death.

Having targeted a top four finish, the men's team fell just short, but Jonathan Cassidy, the team manager, felt there were enough positives to suggest the team can be successful in the future.

Wins in the pool stages against St Lucia and British Virgin Islands set up a quarter-final clash with Trinidad and Tobago, which Bermuda lost in sudden death extra time. Tied at 12-12 at full time, with Bermuda scores coming through tries from Antonio Perinchief and Tom Healy, and a conversion from David Lunn, the loss, which Cassidy called heartbreaking, sent them into a plate semi-final against Cayman Island's.

Down to nine fit players, tries from Lunn and Perinchief weren't enough to see them past Cayman who won, 19-12, and a 33-0 win over BVI to secure seventh place was the only bright point of the day.

“We proved that we are more than capable of competing against the top sides in our region, and qualifying for the next level; Hong Kong 7s, PAN-AM Games etc,” said Cassidy.

“Our squad has been ravaged by injuries for the past couple of weeks, playing our last couple of games in the CAC Games with only eight players, and again today, we were reduced to nine fit players, after losing Andre Landy to a torn hamstring yesterday [Wednesday].

“Despite that, we controlled the ball for long periods of time against T & T in the quarter-final, and were unfortunate not to beat them. We were locked at 12-12 and went into sudden-death extra time, but they scored first. It was heartbreaking.”

NACRA 7s

Men's team: Tashon DeSilva, Somers Brewin, Aldo Campbell, Patrick Calow, Andre Landy, Antonio Perinchief, Rob Forbes (all Teachers), Tom Healy and Rich Cumbers (Renegades), David Lunn (SciencesPo) and Darren Richardson (Police)

Coach: Pate Tuilevuka (from Serevi Rugby)

Manager: Jonathan Cassidy

Women's team: Lauren Hayes, Kelli Nusum, Juliette Ferrari-McComb, Mika Tomita, Jessica Cassidy, Erica McArthur, Deneka Borden, Amanda Swan, Gillian Cross.

Coach: Andy Crichton

Manager: Kerry Heigham

Try time: Kelli Nusum breaks a tackle during the NACRA 7s tournament in Mexico City

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Published December 05, 2014 at 8:00 am (Updated December 05, 2014 at 12:38 am)

Mixed fortunes for rugby teams

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