Two tries from Duhaney Park Red Sharks back rower, Ryan Grant set Jamaica on the road to a 26-24 victory over the USA, in the nation’s first meeting on Caribbean soil, at the Mona Bowl, University of West Indies, Kingston.
The Reggae Warriors held on after a late comeback from the Hawks, who led 18-14 at the interval. The win was Jamaica’s second in succession over the Hawks in eight meetings.
“The contest was excellent throughout,” said JRLA head coach and director of rugby, Romeo Monteith. “The intensity of the fight in the heat, and the never-say-die attitude of both teams thoroughly entertained the crowd. It was a pleasure having the USA team here for the first time and we look forward to welcoming them again in future. “We will, however, need to play better when we play in the 2021 World Cup.”
The Test match was played as part of rugby league’s international weekend.
Hawks team manager, Billy Neilson noted: “It was a tough loss but a great game. The boys on both sides played their hearts out and the crowd was awesome. Congratulations to Jamaica and we look forward to facing them again soon.”
USA will now meet the Cook Islands (at the Hodges Stadium, Jacksonville, 16 November) for the final place in RLWC 2021, following the Kukis 66-6 defeat of South Africa in their latest qualifier at the weekend.
JAMAICA 26 (14) : 1. Kenneth Walker 2. Adrian Thomas 3. Steve Miller 4. Kevin Thomas 5. Andrew Simpson 6. Fabion Turner 7. Michael Pearson 8. Mohnejo Thompson 9. Akeem Murray 10. Khamisi McKain 11. Ryan Grant 12. Chawn Henry 13. Chevaughn Bailey; Subs 14. Kile Nembhard 15. Roland Grey 16. Jenson Morris 17. Antonio Baker
Tries: Ryan Grant 2, Kenneth Walker, Adrian Thomas, Jenson Morris : Goals: Mohenjo Thompson 2, Chevaughn Bailey
USA 24 (18) : 1.Alex Foster 2. Randy Porter 3. Cody Blackwell 4. Josh Jackson 5.Tristan Sylk 6. Sterling Wynn 7.Charlie Jones 8. Jon Purnell 9. Bart Longchamp 10. Kyle Denham 11. Khalil Harris 12. Jamil Robinson 13. Nick Newlin; Subs 14. Sean Hunt 16. Dane Wilcoxen 17. Kevin Wathen
Tries: Jamil Robinson, Charlie Jones, Kevin Wathen, Tristan Sylk