Corey Cross, the Secretary of the Bermuda Rugby Football Union sent out a message to Bermuda Rugby Club representatives recently.
Cross’ message stated, “Everyone will be aware of the recent news reports about the spikes in cases of Covid-19 on the island. In an effort to be as collaborative as possible, we sought input from the local rugby community and received responses from three out of our four clubs. The overwhelming response was that they wished for a cancellation of this weekend's planned rugby activities.
In light of the current climate and recent Government Department of Health notices– Bermuda's country status has gone from “sporadic incidents” to “clusters of cases”. There are now multiple businesses and schools with various levels of quarantine in effect. This would indicate that the Covid-19 situation is not improving but is potentially deteriorating.
In light of this development, the Ministry of Health is making significant changes to the Public Health (COVID-19 Emergency Powers) (No. 3) Regulations 2020 to whit:
• a reduction in large group size from 75 persons down to 50 persons; and, • a more comprehensive mandatory mask mandate.
Although both the 10’s tournament and the Youth rugby will be outdoor events, they both will far exceed this maximum recommended group size. Additionally, with the robust contact nature of rugby there is no viable adherence to social distancing, avoiding close contact, effective hand sanitizing etc. further, the Ministry of Health is urging all citizens to immediately reduce their bubble sizes. Rugby events, unfortunately, fly in the face of this directive. In addition, our Return to Rugby protocols specifically speak to a graduated resumption when there are improvements in the country status - clearly that is not taking place.
As we enter the holiday season – typically a time when family and friends get together – we must be more mindful than ever about following public health guidelines. The BRFU position is to reinforce Minister Wilson’s unambiguous statement that it is crucially important to follow public health protocols “wear your mask, practice physical distancing, cover your cough, stay home if you’re sick and avoid the 3 Cs: closed spaces, crowded spaces and close-contact settings.”
In light of these developments, and considering the feedback from the clubs who responded to our request for input, the BRFU has made the difficult decision to cancel this weekend’s Men’s and Women’s Tens tournament fixtures at Southampton Rangers. In addition Youth Rugby will be cancelled on Sunday morning. The decision is not made lightly but we feel it is in the interest of all our members and that of Bermuda to be cautious in the current climate.
The BRFU will review the situation later in the month to assess whether there have been any improvements in our local community which may allow for rugby to safely resume.”
Friday, November 27, 2020
Bermuda Women Feature in RAN Unstoppables Campaign
Bermuda Women's Rugby has been featured front and center as part of World Rugby's Try and Stop Us campaign. The campaign, launched in 2019, centers around bringing attention to the Women's contact game.
Bermudians around the world are creating their own campaigns, featuring unstoppable women. Rugby Americas North (RAN), Bermuda's regional governing body has been hard at work promoting the women's game, most recently releasing a video across their social media platforms. The video, shot in Bermuda features members of the women's national team training on and off the pitch and supporting each other to reach their goals. The video highlights the exciting growth of women's rugby throughout North American and the Caribbean.
In addition, 2019 recipient of the World Rugby Women's Leadership Development Scholarship, Lauren Rothwell, has been working alongside RAN in their Try & Stop Us Forums. Co-hosting the Women in Rugby - Leading the Game discussion, Rothwell was fortunate to work alongside a panel of extremely accomplished women in the world of Rugby. The panel featured notable names including Emilie Bydwell, Tiffany Faaee, Julianne Zussman, Katie Wurst and Kwanieze John.
Of the recent exposure, Bermuda Rugby's Women's Representative Gillian Cross commented, "No matter where you start, when you start or how you start, as long as you believe you can, and you surround yourself with diverse yet like-minded people, you are unstoppable.
I have had the opportunity to represent Bermuda in several International competitions and to have captained the national team. I am extremely proud and privileged to still be able to compete alongside my daughters (21 & 15).
I am impressed with the rate at which women's rugby is growing and I continue to do my part, on and off the field, to see its continued success."
Bermuda Rugby's Vice President Gemma Godfrey added, “It is such an important time for women in the game. Globally, the number of female players has risen exponentially in the last few years – and the North America & Caribbean region is no exception. I believe part of this success is due to an increase in media and TV coverage the elite game has received over the last few years, which has helped to demystify the sport as something that only men can play and is inspiring more young women to give rugby a try.
Rugby is such an empowering sport for women, as it builds confidence, self-esteem and friendship, but perhaps most importantly, it allows young female players to show a different side of themselves, one of power, strength and resilience amongst their teammates and communities. Strong is beautiful too!”
Two Try’s from the Cup’s top points scorer Collins Injera and the winning try from South African, Craig Hunt, was enough to ensure the win for Frankie Horne’s side.
The Aviators sprung into an early lead thanks to scores from Riekert Hattingh and Brad Tucker to put themselves in the ascendancy, but there never say die attitude of the SX10 squad, a team that spent the opening round of the World Tens series League in self-isolation following a positive COVID-19 result, was enough to get them over the line and see them lift the WTS Cup.
The London Royals met the Ohio Aviators in the first Semi-Final, coming off a Quarter-Final bye as a reward for winning the World Tens Series League. The Aviators caught London cold and went ahead after only three minutes, Kyle Baillie powering his way over the line, carrying two Royals defenders with him.
The Canadian second row added to his tally and that of the team with another try on the stroke of half time. The Aviators' power and physicality proving too much for the Royals to handle as they extended their lead. Ben Cima kicked the two-point conversion to make it 12-0.
The Royals were much improved in the second half, Dan Norton finishing off a nice team move and, with Tom Emery’s two-point conversion, trailed by only five points with two minutes remaining. The Aviators however put in a huge defensive effort and held out to reach the inaugural WTS Cup final.
SX10 and Phoenix collided in the second Semi-Final with several South African’s on show in both camps. It was South African Craig Hunt who went in for the first score, sprinting away from the covering Phoenix defense to open the SX10 account. JT Jackson added a two-point conversion to make it 7-0 at half time.
The second half was closely fought with Phoenix putting in a spirited performance. After a long period of possession, the ball was turned over and Kenyan 7s star Oscar Ouma scored the match-winning score two minutes from time.
Ohio Aviators were relentless in the opening game of the day, crossing for four tries to defeat Miami Sun 26-5.
US Eagle Dylan Fawsitt went over for the first try of the match before Tristan Blewitt added a second score three minutes into added time at the end of the first half. Pat O’Toole raced down the line for Ohio’s third try early in the second half before Blewitt went over for his second and the Aviators fourth try.
The closest Quarter-Final of the three came in the second match of the day, Rhinos were up against Phoenix, and from minute one the Phoenix were up for the challenge.
Denis Coulson bundled his way over for a try just before half time to give Phoenix a well-deserved lead. Head Coach Braam van Straaten, included in the matchday squad as a specialist goal kicker, entered the fray to knock over a two-point jeopardy conversion.
The Rhinos came out fired up for the second half and instantly upped their level. They dominated territory and possession in the second half and were rewarded with an Eric Naposki try. Carl Meyer kicked the two-point conversion to level the scores with a minute left on the clock.
With time up, Rhinos were penalized for being offside and 49-year-old van Straaten stepped up to land the penalty goal and win the game to the jubilation of the Phoenix squad.
SX10 was up against the Asia Pacific Dragons in quarter-final three and produced a classy performance to prevail 19-0. Cecil Afrika crossed for two Try’s and Collins Injera crossed for a first-half score.
Friday, November 06, 2020
World Tens Cup Schedule Announced
The Rugby World Tens Series will conclude with the Cup Competition set to take place at the National Sports Center, November 7th.
Each team finished in the World Tens Series League has played a part in the draw for the World Tens Series Cup. As a reward for finishing top of the table, London Royals have received a bye through to the semi-finals where they will meet the winner of Quarter-Final one between Ohio Aviators and Miami Sun which kicks off at 10:00 am.
Both Ohio and Miami have been very evenly matched throughout the World Tens with their two contests in the league both making for fascinating viewing. The Sun edged to an 11-10 victory in round one, before a late Nick Feakes try and Ben Cima five-point conversion leveled the scores in round two and took us to our first World Tens shoot-out. Mat Turner won the battle against Cima to give Miami Sun the win. Two very evenly matched sides should give us an exciting start to the day’s play.
The Rhinos and Phoenix meet in the second Quarter-Final of the morning session. The team from Southern California topped the table after round one of the World Tens League and, following a disappointing day three of league action, returned to winning ways on day four to end round two with three wins from four and cement their positions as league runners-up.
The Rhinos prevailed 38-10 in round one against Phoenix, before a full Phoenix squad lost out 18-5 in the second fixture between the sides in round two. Phoenix got a win against Miami which will give them confidence going into this match-up with the Rhinos.
SX10 have only played four World Tens Series fixtures thus far but were formidable when they made their entrance, winning three of their four matches, only narrowly losing out to the Aviators in their third match of the day. Asia Pacific Dragons finished third in the league table but will be buoyed coming off their win over the London Royals in the final match of round two. The WTS Cup Quarter-Final will be the first meeting between the two sides.
The London Royals will play the winner of Ohio Aviators v Miami Sun in Semi-Final One, with the winner of the Rhinos v Phoenix Quarter-Final taking on either SX10 or Asia Pacific Dragons in Semi-Final Two.
Rugby World Tens Series Cup Fixtures November 7th, 2020
10.30 am Aviators v Miami 11.00 am Rhinos v Phoenix 11.30 am Asia Pacific Dragons v SX10
1.30 pm Semi-Final 1 - Royals v Aviators/Miami 2.00 pm Semi-Final 2 - Rhinos/Phoenix v APDs/SX10
4.00 pm - Cup Final
Tuesday, November 03, 2020
World Tens Series 2020 Day Four
The World Tens Series League came to an end at the National Sports Center with the London Royals crowned the League Champions.
The result sees the London Royals as the number one seeds for the World Tens Series Cup at the National Sports Center on Saturday, November 7th.