Bermuda miss out on sevens qualifying
The Bermuda men's rugby sevens team have missed out on qualifying for the Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla, Colombia, in April.
Bermuda required a top-four finish at the Rugby Americas North tournament in Mexico City at the weekend to reach the CAC Games. They finished sixth after losing to Cayman Islands 21-14 in a fifth-place play-off match.
Coach Waisale Serevi's side made a winning start to the competition, defeating Dominican Republic 19-14 in their opening pool B match at the Campo Marte venue on Saturday.
But they were then undone by a formidable Jamaica, losing 35-0 to a side who have already qualified for the Hong Kong Sevens in April, to finish second in pool B.
The pool contenders then faced off against one another to determine the top-six place rankings yesterday, with Bermuda drawing 19-19 against Guyana before their defeat by Cayman.
It was Jamaica who claimed the tournament title after a close-fought 28-24 win over Guyana in the final, while host nation Mexico placed third with a 22-14 victory over Trinidad & Tobago.
Also competing in Mexico City were the Bermuda women's sevens team, who failed to trouble the scorers in any of their three games on the opening day. They lost 24-0 to Trinidad, 34-0 to Jamaica and 40-0 to Dominican Republic.
Bermuda's Gemma Godfrey and Lauren Rothwell showed glimpses of attacking intent in all three matches but were unable to register a try for their team.
Coach Rich Cumbers's side started the second day in a similar vein, losing 34-0 to Mexico. They did show signs of improvement against French Guiana, however, opening their scoring account in a 31-12 defeat before drawing 7-7 against Guyana in their final game.
Bermuda, who have been competing at the tournament for the past five years, finished bottom of the seven-team round robin. The top four teams were Mexico, French Guiana, Jamaica and Trinidad.
The winners of both tournaments qualified for the Hong Kong Sevens, the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia, in April, and the Rugby Sevens World Cup in San Francisco in July.
The Bermuda men's side struggled at the previous CAC Games in Veracruz, Mexico, in 2014, losing all of their matches.
UPDATE: this article has been amended to correct the name of Lauren Rothwell