U.S. ruggers maul Jamaicans 40-0 By Leeron Brumell
Guyana Chronicle
December 14, 2003

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THE United States Under-18 rugby team mauled their Jamaican counterparts 40-nil yesterday in game two of the Junior Rugby World Cup finals Qualifier at the National Park field in an impressive display of strength and skill.

When play started under the bright sunshine and in front of a sparse crowd, the U.S. boys, who were bigger and more powerful, advanced on the Jamaican defence and were rewarded with a try from Nick Grala, but he missed the conversion kick, which was worth two points.

The Americans continued their domination and excellent ball-handling skills, constantly forcing themselves on the Jamaicans who could not gather themselves to stop the players.

The U.S. went ahead 20-nil at the end of the first half with tries from Ryan Kearey, Blake Rogers and Mike Bunce.

The players re-thought their strategies at the half and when play resumed, Bunce again tried and was successful in putting the U.S. ahead 25-nil. The fifth try (goal) came from a scrum on the left wing when they forced themselves onto the Jamaicans, again overpowering them.

A few minutes later, the score was 30-nil through a try from Conor O’Brien, again, the U.S. could not score the sixth conversion kick.

The Jamaicans finally got a chance to score some points through a penalty kick but this did not materialise as the ball sailed outside the goal.

The physically, mentally, tactically and technically correct U.S. team then worked their way to the centre of the Jamaican goal, but were denied an easy try as the Jamaicans forced them to go long on the right wing. However, the U.S. then shifted into another gear and pushed Nick Whitaker over the line to get their seventh try and a 35-nil score line.

The final try came seconds before regulation time as again the attack of the U.S. -- similar to a freight train at full speed on the tracks -- proved too much for the Jamaicans. Chris Smith was the eighth scorer.

The U.S. played magnificent rugby, but their conversion kicks were all off as they missed all eight.

An elated U.S. ‘forwards’ coach Don Ferrel said that they were happy with the win, but they need to clear some things up when they take to the field against Guyana today.

“We had a little trouble with our kicking because the wind was up but we’re very pleased with the win and we’re looking forward to a good match against Guyana.”

Guyana and the U.S. will meet in today’s clash at 15:00 hrs at the same venue.

For Guyana to secure victory they must be lightning fast on the outfield and must have excellent ball handling to get around the mighty U.S. team. Failing this it would be a victory in the bag for the first-time visitors to the land of many waters.

The locals have to ensure a victory if they are to qualify for the World Cup in South Africa next year.