Thu | Dec 14, 2017

Reggae Warriors win historic home test

Published:Monday | August 28, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Jamaica's Ethon Dwyer (center) is challenged by members of Canada's Rugby League team during their match in the Americas Championship at the Mona Bowl on the campus of the University of the West Indies on Saturday. The Reggae Warriors defeated the Canadians 28-14.

Jamaica defeated Canada 28-14 in the second match in the 2017 Americas Championships in the Reggae Warriors' first home Test, held at the Mona Bowl, University of West Indies, Kingston.

A thunderstorm before kickoff saw the game delayed by 15 minutes, but not even the heavy showers could dampen the spirit of both teams and the passionate supporters eager to witness history.

Jamaica opened the scoring in the third minute through fullback Joseph Shae, Canada responding shortly after when centre Rick Schouten crashed over in the right corner, Denny McCarthy converting for a 6-4 Wolverines lead.

Doncaster's Aaron Jones-Bishop then released flyer Kenneth Walker twice, then on the left for tries for the host. Stand off Fabion Turner scored a superb solo effort from 30m, Jones-Bishop converting to give the Reggae Warriors an 18-6 lead at the break.

Canada cut the deficit shortly after the restart when veteran winger Tony Felix crashed over on the right edge to make it 18-10 .

Jamaica's centre, Kareen Harris, scored next, but Canada again responded, this time through hooker Jack Couzens, to make it 22-14 and set up a tense finish.

Both teams stood firm in defence, but Jamaica debutant Steve Miller sent the crowd into raptures when he recovered a chip kick from Shae on the halfway line and raced untouched to the try line, with Jones-Bishop converting to seal a tremendous win.

 

FED OFF FANS' ENERGY

 

"The energy from the fans was phenomenal. They pushed the players to their capacity," Jamaica head coach Romeo Monteith said. "Hats off to Canada, who stuck to the task and never gave up. As for the Jamaica lads, they were focused and confident. Their execution was pretty good throughout playing to our advantage, our pace out wide. The forwards were solid in the middle, and that gave us our platform."

Canada's Head Coach Ben Flemmings said: "Jamaica scored first and we never recovered. We played well in patches but just couldn't put together a consistent performance. I think Jamaica came out and wanted it more in front of a parochial home crowd. They had a quick play with the ball and exploited our edges. Congratulations to them."