The Bermuda men's 7s rugby team celebrate. *Photo supplied.
The Bermuda men's 7s rugby team celebrate. *Photo supplied.

Bermuda’s men and women rugby 7s teams returned home from Cayman rightly proud of their efforts at the weekend’s North America Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) 7s tournament.

The men’s team finished seventh overall, fifth in the Caribbean, and for the first time now qualify for the Central American and Caribbean Games (CACSO), which acts as an Olympic qualifier.

The ladies, many of who were playing their first contact tournament, came sixth overall, fourth in the Caribbean and have qualified for the Tobago 7s.  Karly Alleyne was named Bermuda MVP. 

Both teams went two and one for the first day. The men lost 12-0 to Mexico but beat Jamaica 12-7 and British Virgin Islands 36-0, while the ladies also lost their opener, 17-12 in extra time to Trinidad & Tobago, before overcoming Jamaica 14-0 and Curacao 14-10.

It meant both qualified for the Cup quarter-finals. The men came unstuck 17-12 against Trinidad & Tobago before losing the Plate semi-final 28-0 to Cayman. However, led by captain Tom Healy, they won the 7th/8th-place playoff with a swashbuckling 22-5 win over Bahamas. 

Andre Landy sprang free to open the scoring before Connor Albury levelled things up for Bahamas.

But Healy responded with a superb chip and chase before Tommy Edwards repeated the trick a minute later to touch down between the posts. Edwards then scored his second off a delayed pass.

The ladies lost their last-eight game 26-5 to Cayman but won their Plate semi 19-12 against Turks & Caicos 19-12 thanks to Caroline Aberhart, who broke the deadlock at 12-12 to help Bermuda advance.

At 12-0 down, things had looked bleak but a fine run down the left wing by Deneka Borden got it back to 12-5. 

Skipper Mika Tomita then burst through to touch down and, with the try converted, the sides were level before Aberhart had her say. 

Bermuda lost the Plate final 22-0 to Jamaica. 

The BRFU booze cruise this Friday is a chance to party with the Rugby Classic players. The MV Bermudian leaves Front Street at 6pm. Email public.mediarelations@brfu.bm or call 534-0845 for details.