Canada and Jamaica battle to draw in Florida

Canada have set up a decider against the USA for the American qualifiers for Rugby League World Cup 2017, after drawing with Jamaica in Florida on Tuesday.

The Wolverines scored three tries in the last 17 minutes of the game to tie matters up, despite being 12-0 down at half-time, and 18-0 down after a 53rd minute try from Reggae Warrior Wayne Rettie.

The last seconds of the game saw more drama, with Canadian scrum half and co-captain, Steve Piatek, who had previously landed an equalising try conversion from the touchline, missed with a final second drop goal attempt.

Wolverines coach Aaron Zimmerle, in his first game in charge of Canada, was somewhat baffled by his team’s inconsistent display.

“Calling our performance mixed would be a good description,” he said.

“There were a couple of sets where we were as professional as it’s possible to be – our first of the game saw us go 92 metres, finish with a kick to the corner and it looked like we were in for a good day, but then there were others where we knocked on cold off a scrum.

“A lot of that comes with continuity and through fatigue. It was Jamaica’s second game and they played a lot better than they did against the USA.

“They completed more, they seemed to play to their strengths, using their speed and agility, whether coming out of dummy half or shifting to the edges, but the character the players showed to come back from 18-0 and to almost conjure a drop goal in the last minute is a great credit to the boys.”

Jamaica coach Romeo Monteith was proud of his players, but shattered to not have a won a game in which his team had such a commanding lead at one stage.

“I’m proud of the performance from the team,” he said.

“There’s no shame in losing to the world number 10 by six points and drawing with the world number 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.

“Canada had more urgency towards the end. They had one particularly dangerous play, turning the ball inside from the play the ball 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.”

Final score: Canada 18 – Jamaica 18 (Half time: 0-12)

CANADA

Robin Legault, Billy Gemmell, Jonathan Cregg, Rick Schouten, Adam Timler, Ryley Jacks, Steve Piatek, Louis Robinson, Rhys Jacks, Tom Dempsey, Christian Miller, Steve Bouchard, James Kelly

Subs (all used): Matt Wyles, Enoch Wamalwa, Antoine Blanc, Alex Boyd

Tries: Ryley Jacks (63), Legault (76,79)

Goals: Piatek 3/3.

JAMAICA

Wayne Rettie, Alex Brown, Richie Barnett, Hamish Barnes, Omari Caro, Joel Farrell, Corey Hanson, Nathan Campbell, Marvin Thompson, Ross Peltier, Jermaine Pinnock, Mo Agoro, Lamont Bryan

Subs (all used): Joe Brown, Tyrone Rowe, Renaldo Wade, Brian Hutchinson

Tries: Bryan (21), Brown (26), Rettie (57)

Goals: Farrell (3/5)

Sin bin: Rowe (63)

 

Referee: Robert Hicks

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