8/18-19/2001: Atlantis Goes 4-3 at Cayman Island
September 14, 2001
JUNE 26, 2013
Rugby Ecosse Win Cayman Island
The first Cayman Island Sevens, with more than
US$30,000 up for grabs, attracted some big name players and big
name teams. In the end, however, it was a team of 10
amateurs from Scotland that won the title, defeating a team with
seven Canadian internationals (and, in the end, as a reserve,
tournament MVP Jovesa Naivalu of the US).
The 12-team field was broken into 3 pools as follows:
Cambridge University (England)
Wild Geese of Canada
Trinidad & Tobago
Rugby Ecosse (Scotland)
Pool B was weakened by the last-minute loss of
Russia, replaced by Trinidad and Tobago. In the end, all 4
semifinalists were from Pools A and C.
The Wild Geese won Pool A, but the big game in pool play – the one
that decided which team would stay in the Cup, and which would be
relegated to the Plate – was between Cambridge and Atlantis.
Cambridge eked out a 21-19 win to move on.
Both the Grizzlies, led by Jovesa Naivalu, and the Marauders
easily moved on to the Cup from Pool B.
In Pool C, tournament favorite Samurai, leading OMBAC 5-0, were
dealt a heavy blow when speedster Spencer Bromley was sent off
after punching Jone Naqica from behind after a sideline tackle.
Seven against six, OMBAC went on to win 7-5.
Rugby Ecosse, who had been crushed by OMBAC, then knocked off
Samurai, 19-0, relegating the favorites to the Plate.
Tropical Storm Threatens
Sunday’s play was moved up three hours because
forecasts had Tropical Storm Chantal straying too close for
comfort. (In the end a few minutes of hard rain was all we
got.) There were four more pools, 2 for the Cup and 2 for
Surprisingly, among the Plate teams was tournament
favorite Samurai, with the following international-laden roster:
Owen Scrimgeour (Capt.), New Zealand Sevens Captain
Junior Tonu'u, New Zealand Sevens
John Bentley, British Lions
Spencer Bromley, England A (sent off vs. OMBAC)
Mike Boys, Wales Sevens
Sean Welch, Scottish Exiles
Will Kershaw'Naylor, England Students
Simon Mialle, England Sevens
Gerrie Englebrecht, South Africa Sevens
Mark Gathercole, UAE 15s & 7's
Atlantis defeated Samurai 21-5 in their Plate pool match to
get to the Plate semis where they came away with a convincing
win over the West Indies. In their semi-final, Samurai
convincingly beat Trinidad & Tobago.
The Atlantis roster was identical to that in Havana:
Atlantis Number, Name, Club
394 Doug Brown, Kansas
267 Al Caravelli, New York AC
523 Paul Enright, New York AC
Sebastian Fitzgerald, New York AC,
Kurt Shuman, New
The Plate Final between Atlantis and Samurai was for
US$5,000. Taking advantage of two “14-point” interceptions,
Samurai won the more important of the two match-ups between the
teams, 38-19. Owen Scrimgeour lead the Samurai with two
tries, while Atlantis’ three tries were by Sebastian Fitzgerald,
John McGeachy and Kurt Shuman.
Atlantis lineup in Plate Final
Steve Robke (Paul Enright)
Sebastian Fitzgerald (McGeachy)
Doug Brown (Sean Hartley)
Grizzlies and Marauders were knocked out in Sunday’s
pool play, but not until the Marauders had lost on a flip of the
coin to the Wild Geese. They had played to a tie, and both
had lost 12-0 to OMBAC. Meanwhile, Atlantis watched sadly as
the team they had lost to 21-19 went on to secure a #1 seed in
their Cup pool.
Down a player, the Wild Geese went out and got Grizzly and US
speedster Jovesa Naivalu, whose two tries as a second half sub got
them past Cambridge 19-12. All-amateur Rugby Ecosse,
improving with each game, roared past OMBAC (who had crushed them
the day before), 27-0.
Both losing semifinalists had won $5,000, now it was a battle
between the $10,000 first prize and the $7,500 second.
With the combined benefits of excellent play, a penalty try and a
sin bin to Naivalu, Rugby Ecosse, who had lost to OMBAC by 30
points on Saturday, came off as surprise champions with a 19-12
victory. The Grizzlies’ (and Wild Geese’s) Naivalu was
selected tournament MVP.
1. Chris Capaldi, Boroughmuir
2. John Shaw, Currie
3. Steve Wands, Scottish Exiles
4. Calum Cussiter, Boroughmuir
5. Carl McWilliam, Murrayfield Wanderers
6. P.J Solomon, Gala
7. Ross Lothian, West of Scotland
R. Malcolm Clapperton, Boroughmuir
R. Cameron Little (Capt), Glasgow Hawks
R. Charlie Keenan, Boroughmuir
All 10 players got into the final match. Try scorers in the final
were P.J Solomon, Steve Wands, and the penalty try was attributed
to both Calum Cussiter and Carl McWilliam. According to
reports, $3,000 of the $10,000 first place award was spent at the
Perhaps of note is that the oldest of the four Boroughmuir players
Wild Geese (* = played for Canada, either 7s or 15s)
Marco di Girolamo*
also a cigar story
associated with this tour, which started in Cuba but didn't end until after the