Bermuda’s attention in Rugby World Cup 2015 was front and center in the Bahamas to determine who moves on to the next stage of the qualifying process.
Bermuda defeated the Bahamas 16-8 at the Winton Rugby Pitch in the Bahamas in an overly physical game in 90+ degrees and similar humidity.
Jahan Cedenio scored Bermuda’s Try with Ian Henderson adding 11 points with the boot with 2 Penalties, a drop kick and a Conversion.
Bermuda will now play Guyana in the Caribbean Final and World Cup Qualifier for England 2015.
Bermuda went in front in the 10th minute when Henderson Kicked a Penalty, minutes later Bahamas pulled even with a Penalty of their own. The Bahamas went ahead 8 – 3 with a Try after 23 minutes, however the Conversion was missed.
Henderson’s second Penalty pulled Bermuda with two points after 28 minutes, seven minutes later Bermuda went up 9 – 8 with Henderson’s Drop-Kick, they would hold the lead at the break.
With 16 minutes remaining Cedenio scored his Try and Henderson kicked the Conversion to give Bermuda the 16 – 8 lead and the win.
Prior to the game Keith Hodgkins, chairman of the Bermuda Rugby Football Union (BRFU) said, “This is a must-win for us.”
“The least we would expect is to reach the final. The guys are also nervous because if we do reach the final, we will host it in Bermuda for the first time. In the past, we’ve always had to go away to one week-long event in one venue to try and win the Caribbean Championship. Now, the new format means we have a chance to host the Championship. That’s massive for us.”
However, despite the tag of favorites, a win this weekend was far from guaranteed. As Lawrence Bird – Bermuda coach for the last eight years – explained, the fact the match was being played in the Bahamas and that could have made a big difference.
“We don’t have the same climate, which is why we came down a couple of days early so the guys can get used to the heat. They felt it in the first training session when we got here!”
“It was a hostile environment for our guys. We’ve travelled to most parts of the region, and Bahamas is the one that sticks out in my mind as the place they most get behind their side.
“They’re very physical and so are we, so we knew it was going to be a big battle – especially up front, where we’re very well organized. We won the Caribbean Championship last year, and I would say we’ve got a stronger team this year, so we was confident going in.”