USA Rugby League team edges out Jamaica's Reggae Warriors in hard-fought battle at Mona

By Sports Desk December 04, 2023

In a thrilling men's senior international rugby league clash at the Mona Bowl, University of West Indies in Kingston, the USA Rugby League team managed to hold on for a hard-fought victory against Jamaica's Reggae Warriors, securing a 30-26 win.

Despite challenging conditions with the temperature soaring to 85 degrees, the Reggae Warriors took an early lead of 10-0, showcasing resilience despite having less possession. However, the USA Hawks responded strongly, turning the tide to lead 14-10 by halftime. Kyle Granby, the Brooklyn Kings centre, played a pivotal role, scoring two of his three tries in the lead-up to halftime.

Granby's exceptional performance continued after the restart as he completed a genuine five-minute hat trick. Veteran loose forward Joe Eichhner crossed the try line on the hour mark, contributing to the Hawks' lead. Granby, who also kicked two goals, showcased his versatility and skill throughout the match.

USA's skipper, Peter Lupton, reflected on the challenging contest, stating, "It was back and forth, and we had to deal with some big players. It was tough from start to finish." He acknowledged the efforts of both teams, emphasizing the significance of the game for the growth of rugby league.

Despite two late tries from Jamaica's Tahj-Jay Lynch and Kenneth Walker, the Reggae Warriors fell just short of a comeback, concluding the match with a 30-26 scoreline. The USA team, having only one training session before the game, demonstrated resilience and adaptability.

Jamaica faced setbacks with injuries, losing Andrew Simpson in the first half and Kevin Thomas in the second, limiting their bench options. Head coach Roy Calvert expressed gratitude to the USA Hawks for their visit, acknowledging the support from the local fans. Calvert said, "It was a fantastic occasion despite the narrow loss. We're 1-1 now for games between the nations played here in Jamaica and are looking forward to the next one."

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