Bermuda miss out on World Cup and Commonwealth Games
Bermuda started the tournament with back-to-back wins but ended their assignment at the Rugby Americas North Sevens Qualifiers in fourth place, crucially missing out on a spot at the Rugby World Cup Sevens and the Commonwealth Games.
The RAN qualifier, which was played over two days at the Thomas A Robinson Stadium in Nassau, Bahamas, was used to determine which teams would represent the region at the marquee events, later this year.
Canada and Jamaica booked their spots to the Rugby World Cup Sevens which will take place in Cape Town, South Africa in September, while the Canadian women also secured their place at the tournament.
Meanwhile, Jamaica will also join Canada at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England in July.
Bermuda enjoyed much success on Saturday’s opening day of competition after convincing wins over Barbados, who they defeated 24-10 and Belize, who they hammered 52-0.
Things got off to a positive start on Sunday, with a close 7-5 victory over a tough Trinidad and Tobago outfit to secure their place in the semi-finals.
However, things started to go south for the Bermudians, who then suffered a heavy 24-5 defeat at the hands of Jamaica before falling 21-5 to Mexico in the third and fourth-place decider, ending their campaign in The Bahamas on a losing note.
Canada topped the tournament after getting by the Jamaicans 29-12 in the men’s final. The women’s final was also won by Canada, who defeated Mexico 33-0 in a one-sided contest.
“It’s a fresh group of guys, but we’re all very keen to learn and we’re just trying to look at it as a growth mindset — just to keep building one day at a time — we’re really enjoying it,” said Canada’s men’s team player Cooper Coats.
Bermuda’s build up to the qualifier was not without setback and challenges as head coach Jamie Barnwell had to adjust his set-up after the experienced Tashon DeSilva was ruled out of the tournament because of injury.
Another experienced campaigner Mikey Dill was also unavailable to the coach, after he decided he needed to take a break from the sport.
The 13-member squad was, however, aided by the return of Tom Healy, the extremely influential player who was sidelined owing to injury, while captain Stephan Smit and his assistant Dan Cole adding experience to the outfit.
The other team initially listed in Bermuda’s group, the Dominican Republic, did not compete at the qualifiers.
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