Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Reggae Warriors crash out of contention after tie

Published:Thursday | December 10, 2015 | 12:00 AMLeighton Levy

The Reggae Warriors conceded 18 points in the last 17 minutes and were eliminated from contention for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup as their do-or-die match against Canada ended in a thrilling tie on Tuesday.

The Warriors, who lost 20-14 against the United States last week Friday, looked certain winners against the Canadians, a team they had never beaten.

The Warriors were all over the Canadians early on and Wayne Rettie's try in the 53rd minute seemed to put them back into contention for World Cup qualification. The Canadians had other ideas, as full back Robin Legault crossed for two tries in three minutes in an astonishing climax.

Canada could have capped an amazing comeback for the win had Canadian scrum half and co-captain, Steve Piatek, who had scored the equalising conversion from the touchline to Legault's second try, not missed with a final second drop goal attempt.

NO SHAME IN LOSS

Warriors head coach Romeo Monteith was devastated.

"I'm proud of the performance from the team. There's no shame in losing to the world No. 10 by six points, and drawing with the world No. 12 in these qualifiers. We tried our best and I wish we could have held on at the end, but it wasn't to be, and we have to move on," he said. "Canada had more urgency towards the end. They had one particularly dangerous play, turning the ball inside from the play ... to the full back that kept opening up our middle. We needed more discipline there; we were calling for the team to be tighter around that area, but we weren't."

Lamont Bryan opened the scoring in the 21st minute, barrelling over from close in, Joel Farrell converting and, five minutes later, the Jamaican lead was doubled, crisp passing seeing Corey Hanson and Richie Barnett combining to send in winger Alex Brown for a lovely score, Farrell wide with the conversion.

Canada will play the USA on Saturday, with a World Cup berth awaiting the winners.