Paul White, Wayne Allen 2, Ryan Grant
Pieter van der Nest 1/1
Jymel Coleman 2/4
Jamaica defeated the South Africa Rhinos 20-6 in wet conditions in the second game of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup Atlantic Zone Qualifiers at Campbell’s Field, New Jersey. Jamaica led 10-6 at halftime and then shut out the Rhinos for the second half.
The victory sets up a final showdown for rugby’s reggae boys against the USA Tomahawks this Sunday, October 23 with the winner earning a spot in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup to be held in England and Wales.
The Jamaicans adapted much better to the wet conditions than their South African counterparts and put on two early tries through Paul White and Wayne Allen before the Rhino’s hit back via winger Rudolph Prinsloo right on the stroke of half time. Pieter van der Nest, replacing Francois Greyvensteyn at stand-off, converted the try and Jamaica went into the break with a four point cushion.
South African coach, Steven van Zyl, said his boys were not as well prepared for the slippery conditions, “Obviously the weather played a part,” he said. “There were a lot of mistakes. We were battling to get off the ground in the tackles.”
The Jamaicans crossed the twice more after the break, Allen posted his second and Ryan Grant went over, Jymel Coleman adding two conversions to complete the calypso scoring.
The South African team chose to stick to local talent for the qualifiers, resisting the inclusion of eleven eligible players who play in the ranks of the NRL and European Super League.
“I think a little bit of experience could have helped us, maybe we could have used some of our professional players. I think we’ve learned a lot out of the game and I think our support back home will back us using local players,” van Zyl said. “Our boys are fully amateur, they will go back on Friday and end up back in South Africa on Sunday and everyone will go back to their day jobs.”
For the Jamaican team, it’s now all eyes on Sunday. Their game against the Tomahawks kicks off at 2pm ET at Campbell's Field, Camden, New Jersey.
Head Coach Dean Thomas commented, “The conditions were a bit of a leveller. We like a quicker tempo but the weather made that difficult. The South Africans put us under pressure and we gave away too many penalties and that really worked us hard, we’ve got to do better. We’ve got three or days to prepare for America, it’s a great environment to play in and we are playing now for the right to take part in a World Cup.”
Hooker Jamaine Wray received man of the match award for the Jamaican team and skipper White was full of praise for Coleman, who impressed in attack and kicked two from four conversions and Waine Pryce who had two tries disallowed in the first half.
“We went away from our game plan and what we were capable of doing and everybody ended up going for glory, that’s a lesson learned, especially when we come up against a team like USA because we won’t get the chance to play without direction,” White said.
Paul White, Waine Price, Corey Hanson, Ryan Grant, Wayne Allen, Karl Pryce, Jymel Coleman, Romaen Campbell, Jamaine Wray, Jode Sherriffe, Lamont Bryan, Daniel Bravo, Joseph Brown. Subs: Richard Barnett, Roy Calvert, Tyronie Rowe, Ross Peltier
Hans du Plessis, Rudi Prinsloo, Henry du Toit, Riaan Engelbrecht, Johan Fritz, Pieter van der Nest, Andre Loader (c), Christo Louw, Gerrie Slabber, Christo Joubert, Jonothan Soares Sivive Mpondo, Stevie Meyer. Subs: Marcelle Slabbert, Gerhard de Wet, Francois Greyvensteyn, Deon Kraemer