Jahan Cedenio is convinced the Bermuda rugby union team are on the right track — despite losing their final match of the Rugby Americas North Caribbean Championships at the weekend.
The prop and his team-mates suffered an agonising 20-19 defeat away to Cayman Islands, which was Bermuda’s third defeat of the competition having already been beaten by USA South and Trinidad and Tobago.
Bermuda’s hopes were dealt a significant blow after the dismissal of Tom Healy, the team’s influential scrum half, who picked up two yellow cards within the opening 25 minutes.
Had it not been for Bermuda’s indiscipline — forward Pete Dunkerly was also sin-binned — and several missed penalties, Cedenio believes his team would have won. Corey Boyce, the wing, scored the visiting team’s only try.
“We knew it was going to be a very tough game,” said Cedenio, whose side lost their opening game of the Championships 48-28 at home to USA South before going down 24-21 away to Trinidad.
“Cayman have always been one of our toughest Caribbean rivals, so we knew we would be facing a strong pack.”
Cedenio admits that Healy’s sending off arguably proved the flashpoint of the tight game as it handed their opponents a huge advantage.
“Tom was sent off, then Pete Dunkerly was sin-binned,” he said. “You could say some of our discipline perhaps wasn’t as good as it should have been. It could have been the difference.
“We also missed a few penalties and if we hadn’t missed those it would have been a different game. It went down to the final whistle.”
Cedenio insists his team-mates were not overly downbeat after the match, believing it had been their best performance of the Championships.
“It’s worth noting that we aren’t disappointed with the result,” Cedenio said.
“We haven’t contained Cayman for a long time — probably the last three or four times we have met them in this competition.
“Since we have taken on Peter Lewington as our head coach, he is very much focused on a three-year plan.
“It’s a loss and naturally we’re disappointed but there are a lot of positives to take from this performance that will carry us over to next year’s competition.
“There was only one point in it and it could have gone our way if we’d had even one more minute. If we had converted the penalties we missed we definitely would have won.”