In the first match of their spring tour, the Dartmouth Rugby 1st XV won a hard-earned victory against the Cayman Islands national team on their home turf, beating their hosts by a score of 29-25. Playing in their first match without head coach Alexander Magleby, who was away fulfilling his duties as coach of the USA Eagles at the Hong Kong 7s, the Big Green raced out to an early lead before having to withstand a spirited comeback from their opponents. Backed by several great individual performances however, the team was able to hold out for the win.
Things began well for Dartmouth, as they were able to get on the board first thanks to a try from wing Kevin Clark ’14. Fullback Madison Hughes ’15 would add on the conversion to make the score 7-0. Hughes was not done for the day though, as he would boot through a penalty a few minutes later to make the score 10-0. Dartmouth would continue their fast start as Clarke scored another try, followed once again by a Hughes conversion, to make the lead 17-0. The Cayman team would begin to close the gap thereafter though, as they would notch a try and conversion of their own to make the score 17-7 heading into halftime.
After the break Dartmouth would be the first to strike with captain and No. 8 Paul Jarvis’12 scoring a try early in the second half. The subsequent conversion from Hughes would make the score 24-7. But just when it seemed like The Big Green would pull away, the Cayman team began to bring them back in, putting in a try to cut the lead to 24-12. They would score again to make it 24-17 before Dartmouth struck back, as wing Justin Ciambella ’13 went into the try zone. Unfortunately, Hughes wasn’t able to make the conversion and the score remained at 29-17.
The Cayman team would continue their comeback, with another try to cut the lead to 29-22. They would keep pushing the matter via a successful penalty attempt with around 10 minutes left to make the score 29-25. But despite their best efforts to take the lead, the Dartmouth defense stood strong to hold out for the win and a successful start to their tour.
In a small consolation to the hosts, the Cayman Selects side was able to get a victory again the Dartmouth 2nd XV, winning by a score of 34-27. The Big Green will have four more matches, two for each side, before heading back up to Hanover this Sunday.