USA roll over Guyana to qualify for RWC in South Africa By Clyde Pestano
Stabroek News
December 15, 2003

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The USA yesterday qualified for the Junior Rugby World Cup finals set for next year in South Africa when they `rolled over' Guyana 49-3 at the National Park rugby field.

On the `back' of eight tries one penalty kick and three conversions the USA were able to dominate the Guyanese who toiled manfully even though at a disadvantage in the height and weight departments.

The USA were on the score board first as Owen Jones sent his penalty kick between the `H' goal for a 3-0 lead just minutes into the game.

The Americans went further ahead as Patrick "PJ" Komongnan went on a dazzling and superb run to score his team's first try for a 8-0 lead. Jones who had scored the first three points then made no mistake as he kicked in the conversion for a 10-0 USA lead.

Two more tries by Aaron Fortin and Garett Rittenberg respectively and another conversion by Jones saw the USA handsomely ahead at half-time 22-0.

Prior to this Guyana had two of their players shown the yellow card resulting in them being sent to the "sin bin". This offence in rugby results in a player being sent off for a period of 10 minutes after which he can resume playing.

Early in the second half an American player was sent to the "sin bin" also as the game got very intense and physical.

However, the Americans consolidated their position when Rittenberg scored his second try of the game. Soon after USA made four substitutions as they sought to maintain their grip on the game. Another run by the powerful USA side down the left flank saw Greg Smith score a try giving the USA a 32-0 advantage. The conversion kick failed as poor kicking by the Americans continued. Another Guyanese was sent to the "sin bin" soon after for offending the rules of the game. Almost immediately after Owen Jones got involved in the game again as he stormed to the touch line for his first try and USA way ahead 37-0. John Cernik made it 42-0 as the USA tightened the screws on Guyana with game time approaching.

Guyana though fought on and were rewarded when they put their first points on the board courtesy of a penalty kick from Ryan "Geico" Hinckson to make the score 42-3.

The USA were undaunted and powered on to score another try this time courtesy of Nick Grala to surge further ahead 47-3. Prolific kicker Jones converted the subsequent conversion and pushed the USA's score to 49-3 when the final whistle sounded.

Speaking with Stabroek Sport after the game US captain Brad Winbush said his team which was a young one played with a lot of heart. He added that the players were already looking ahead to playing in South Africa next year. Quizzed about Guyana's performance he said that the Guyanese performed creditably and wished them well in the future. Guyana's captain Oscar Prince who was very emotional after his team lost told Stabroek Sport that he was very disappointed at not winning.