USA, having beaten Chile last weekend (64 – 0) and Jamaica, who beat Canada (38 – 8), will meet tomorrow (Saturday 17th) to decide the eleventh qualifying nation for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup in England.
The match will be played at the Hodges Stadium, University of North Florida, Jacksonville on Saturday, kicking off at 4pm local time.
Below are details of both qualifying matches from last Saturday.
USA 64 v CHILE 0 – MATCH DETAILS
In torrential rain, the host Hawks were comfortable 62-0 winners over newcomers Chile in the opening round. Seven of their tries were claimed by their unstoppable right-hand side combination, Ryan Burrows (with a hat trick) and debutant, Brooklyn’s Brandon Anderson (who grabbed four).
Bureta Faraimo finished well, with 16 points from a try double and four goals, and Hawks skipper, Mark Offerdahl also grabbed a brace of touchdowns while Jacksonville winger, David Washington impressed.
“In the early stages we weren’t sure what to expect from the opposition,” said USA head coach, Sean Rutgerson of the first South American nation to play in the qualifiers. “We still had to defend because they ran hard, but we just had a bit more experience.
“It was a good chance to give some of our guys plenty of game time, helping them to get used to playing internationals, and they went well.”
Chile played with heart but were outclassed, loose forward James Horvat their best.
USA 64: Cory Makelim, Ryan Burroughs, Brandon Anderson, Bureta Faraimo, David Washington, Kristian Freed, Connor Donehue, Mark Offerdahl, Danny Howard, Andrew Kneisly, Joe Eichner, Jerome Veve, Haveatama Luani. Substitutes: Nick Newlin, Jamil Robinson, Chris Frazier, Chris Wiggins. Tries: Howard (10), Burroughs (15, 17, 76), Offerdahl (23, 25), Anderson (31, 39, 56, 79), Donehue (42), Faraimo (59, 65). Goals: Faraimo 5/13.
CHILE 0: Thomas Garrido, Jose Nitor-Alvear, Mana Castillo-Sioni, Patrick Caamano, Zecil Yao, Trent Millar, Bradley Millar, Eduardo Wegener, Junior Sandoval, Jaden Laing, Nick Doberer, Brandon Tobar, James Horvat. Substitutes: Piero Diaz, Iziah Esera Catrileo, Jonathan Espinoza, Taylor Salas.
Half time: 34-0
Referee: Geoffrey Poumes (France)
JAMAICA 38 v CANADA 8 – MATCH DETAILS
Jamaica eased clear of the Canada in the second half, with two second half tries from Wakefield’s Super League star, Ben Jones-Bishop, playing at full back, which were the turning point in their 38-8 triumph. Leeds Rhinos’ Ashton Golding also crossed.
The Wolverines pegged the score back to 12-8, at the start of the second period, when Ruairi McGoff claimed their second try.
“Canada threw everything at us,” commented Reggae Warriors head coach, Romeo Monteith. “I am proud of our boys who stuck to the task and didn’t panic. Our defence won us the game. The turning point came just before half-time, when we kept them out on four consecutive sets.
“The second half was even more pleasing. Our attack really got into motion and the finishes were good.
Looking ahead to the decider, Monteith added: “There were a lot of sore bodies but the lads are really looking forward to the final field session. It will be a great game for the fans. The two teams are evenly matched, so who claims that World Cup spot will come down to who makes the least errors.”
According to Wolverines head coach Ben Fleming: “The effort by the boys (against Jamaica) was fantastic. They were all absolutely devastated afterwards that their World Cup dream was over.
“On top of a true captain’s performance from Rhys Jacks, fullback Jordan Drew impressed on debut. I have some tough decisions to make for Saturday’s rankings match against Chile which kicks off at 1.30 pm. Team Manager, Paul Buchanan, has pulled together a varied itinerary and team spirit is high.”
CANADA 8 : Jordan Drew, Emil Borggren, Shaun McKenzie, Eddie Bilborough, Rick Schouten, Brad Austin, Wes Black, Louis Robinson, Rhys Jacks, Joel Hulett, Jack Couzens, Ash Calvert, Christian Miller. Substitutes: Sean McInroy, Scyler Dumas, Ruairi McGoff. Tries: Borggren (9), McGoff (43).
JAMAICA 38 : Ashton Golding, Aaron Jones-Bishop, Ben Jones-Bishop, Joseph Brown, Alex Brown, Daniel Thomas, Jy-Mel Coleman, Jonathan Magrin, Joel Farrell, Lamont Bryan, Omari Caro, Mo Agoro, Keenen Tomlinson. Substitutes: Renaldo Wade, Marvin Thompson, Ross Peltier, Khamisi McKain. Tries: Magrin (6), Golding (21), Ben Jones-Bishop (54, 71), Bryan (61), Thomas 73), Alex Brown (77). Goals: Jy-Mel Coleman 5/7.
NOTE: Both this Saturday’s games will be live-streamed on the national federation’s and Toronto Wolfpack’s Facebook sites.