Impressive USA overpower Jamaica
-set up grand finale with Guyana today By Clyde Pestano
Stabroek News
December 14, 2003

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A Jamaican player (right) holds on for dear life as his USA counterpart tries to break free in junior rugby action yesterday between the two countries at the National Park. (Lawrence Fanfair photo)

The USA junior rugby team yesterday overpowered Jamaica with an impressive display of `power rugby' when they literally bulldozed their way to a 40-0 drubbing of Jamaica at the National Park rugby ground.

On a day blessed with brilliant sunshine the Americans demonstrated why they are a rugby powerhouse in the Western Hemisphere, as they seemed to hold all the cards in the second game of the Junior Rugby World Cup qualifiers. With such an overpowering performance, the signs look ominous for Guyana whom they face today in a virtual final, with the winner qualifying for the Junior Rugby World Cup next year in South Africa.

The game was intensely fought and at times very physical with a number of injuries although no one was seriously hurt. Jamaicans Henriques Huntley and Leon Hinds were required to undergo medical attention on the field by Dr. Dennis Dookhan. Dookhan told Stabroek Sport that as a precaution, he has recommended a right thumb x-ray scan for Huntley and a skull x-ray for Hinds who seemed to have had a cerebral concussion after being hit on the head in a clash on the field.

The USA's score was built around eight tries and could have been much higher had they converted the conversions on offer.

With the game only a few minutes old Nick Grala put the first points on the scoreboard for the USA to give them a 5-0 lead. Ryan Kearey was into the act some minutes later with another try with the USA warming to their task and leading 10-0.

A powerful run this time on the right flank saw Blake Rodgers score the USA's third try for a 15-0 advantage. Mike Bunce piled on the agony for Jamaica with another try just before half-time.

At half-time the USA were large and in charge, ahead 20-0.

Immediately on the resumption Bunce was again a thorn in the side of Jamaica, when he scored his second try of the game putting his team further ahead 25-0. Jamaica seemed helpless against the USA's onslaught and tried manfully but in vain to get points on the scoreboard. The USA's forwards could best be described as giants in terms of their size and this they used to their advantage.

Connor O'Brien, Nick Whittaker and Chris Smith all scored tries as the USA continued their dominance until the final whistle came.

Coach Don Ferrel told Stabroek Sport that he was happy with the USA's performance and the outcome. He added that the team was a pretty young one but they had played well.

Ferrel seemed a bit concerned though with the eight missed conversions, but alluded to the wind factor which seemed to affect his `kickers'. He said that his team is looking forward to their clash with Guyana today.

That game starts at 3pm and a keen contest is anticipated.