Canada has made rugby league history by winning its first ever test match with a 40-10 victory over Jamaica in the Caribbean Carnival Cup international Sunday in Toronto.
The Wolverines thrilled the 1500 strong crowd at Fletcher’s Fields in Markham, ON, by getting on the board first and never being headed.
The Canadians’ completion rate was good and that, combined with solid defensive patterns, set the table for the win.
The Jamaicans showed glimpses of form here and there, but weren’t able to consistently mount sustained pressure and consequently rarely threatened their opponents’ try zone. Jamaica fielded a side made up of domestic-based players as its top liners were honoring contractual commitments with their clubs in the UK.
Canada led 18-4 at halftime and then picked up from where they’d left off at the half when they bagged another try just two minutes after the resumption of play.
The scoring procession continued when 19-year old Harlequins RLFC Academy player Louis Robinson scored his first international try for Canada to extend the scoreline to 28-4.
The Jamaicans pegged one back a few minutes later, however, yet another Canadian try stretched the Wolverines’ lead to 34-10 and put the game out of the reach of the reggae boys.
Canada wasn’t quite done though and Jamie Lester’s men banged the final nail in Jamaica’s coffin late in the piece when they scored their seventh and final try to clinch the historic 40-10 triumph.
Canadian try-scorers included Trent Hansen, Danny Tupou (2), Robin Legault, Stu McReynolds, Robinson and Chris Diamond. McReynolds converted six of the tries to round out the hosts’ scoring.
For Jamaica, Sandino Hastings and Romaen Campbell crossed for tries, while Marvin Thompson added a conversion.
Canada next faces the USA Tomahawks in a two-game set for the Colonial Cup. The opening match of that series is scheduled to be played on August 27 in Philadelphia with the return leg on September 18 in Toronto.
Following those matches, the Wolverines will wrap up their 2011 season by hosting South Africa on October 9. The Rhinos will use the game as their final warm-up for the Rugby League World Cup Atlantic Zone qualifying series with the USA and Jamaica.
The qualifiers will be played in Philadelphia from October 15-23.
Canada: Robin Legault, Tony Felix, Stu McReynolds, Christian Miller, Danny Tupou, Jamie Lester, Matt Wyles, Steve Colon (Capt), Chris Diamond, Louis Robinson, Tim Mason, Henry Miers, Trent Hansen
Subs: Tyler Allen, Dalg Fitzgerald, Matt Gleed, Steve Lamb
Jamaica: Marvin Thompson, Claude Yen, Ryan Grant, Everton Richards, Jermaine Pinnock, Damen Yayle, Roy Calvert, Jade Harrison, Robert Rodney, Romaen Campbell, Nicholas Wright, Carlye Burger, Jahden Clarke Subs: Omar Jones, Tyronie Rowe, Adrian Myers, Sandino Hastings