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Jamaica secure comprehensive win

ON THE BALL: Action from the recent Ireland - Jamaica fixture

IRELAND STEPPED up preparations for their forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Spain and Russia, fielding a domestic-only side to take on Jamaica at the Carlisle Grounds in Bray, County Wicklow.

But the visiting rugby Reggae Warriors, playing the first of two Test matches in Europe for the first time, ran out impressive 68-16 winners, scoring 12 tries, four of them from winger Richie Barnett.

Jamaica team manager Glenn Morrison commented: “The boys are buzzing, it was a great result that has put a smile on everyone’s face. This is a new set up, the first game together and we wanted to go there and compete, but to get such comprehensive win was outstanding.

“It’s the first win Jamaica’s had since 2008-9 when they played South Africa. There are only a couple of guys who’ve tasted victory so it went down extremely well. We’ve got to switch back on for Wales on Friday and try to put on another performance.

Morrison added: “We want to get some exposure for the team, that’s the idea behind this UK branch of Jamaica, to raise the profile and ranking, which should bring more interest and funding into the sport back in the island to continue to grow it.

“We need to send some boys over there to do a bit of coaching and look to bring some of the more talented players back to play semi-professional here.”

The Jamaicans were quick out of the blocks posting tries though Barnett, Alex Brown and Jordan Andrade as they spread the ball on the back of quick play-the-balls, Jy-Mel Coleman converting two to make it 16-0.

Chris Hall’s dart on the back of two penalties saw the hosts respond, James Kelly goaling only for Ireland to concede a drop out from the kick off leading to a second try for Andrade.

Quick hands saw Barnett across again, hooker Joel Farrell stepping clear and over before being sin-binned for dissent and Ross Peltier powering in; Ireland replying from probing Connor Phillips to make it 10-42 at the break.

The second half was a tighter affair, the visitors scoring first through centre Lewis Bowman on the back of an Alex Brown break, Onisi Burekama, on debut, scoring a try in the corner in response.

Wayne Rettie scored out wide on the left and then set up Alex Brown to break clear from 70 metres, sandwiching a hat-trick effort from Barnett, who grabbed his fourth five minutes from time, Coleman with his tenth goal.

Rugby League Ireland director Richard Egan commented: “The match has really helped our domestic players see where we are in relation to players who play professional rugby league. We embarked on a new process two years ago where rather than play an ‘A’ side against only Wales and Scotland, we would play sanctioned internationals against other nations.

“The Jamaican guys are all contracted players based in the UK and hopefully they can use this experience to help drive their own growth back in Jamaica."

IRELAND: 1 Adam Doherty, 2 Rob Armstrong, 3 Paddy James, 4 Alan McMahon, 5 Jordan Hylton, 6 Mikey Russell
7 James Kelly, 8 Gareth Gill, 9 Connor Phillips, 10 Chris Hall, 11 Matt McKelvey, 12 Matty Cahoon, 16 Wayne Kerr
Subs (all used): 13 Conor Mackey, 14 Shane Kelly, 15 Onisi Burekama, 17 Adam Boyce

Tries: Hall (16), Phillips (34), Burekama (46) Goals: Kelly 2/3

JAMAICA: 1 Aaron Jones-Bishop, 2 Richard Barnett, 3 Lewis Bowman, 4 Joseph Brown, 5 Alex Brown, 6 Jy-Mel Coleman, 7 Daniel Thomas, 8 Jode Sheriffe, 9 Joel Farrell, 10 Jordan Andrade, 11Baasit Agoro, 12 Wayne Reittie, 13 Corey Hanson
Subs (all used): 14 Keenen Tomlinson, 15 Danny Bravo, 16 Kadeem Williams, 17Ross Peltier

Tries: Barnett (2, 23, 64, 75), A Brown (5, 70), Andrade (12, 20), Farrell (28), Peltier (37), Bowman (42), Rettie (60)
Goals: Coleman 10/12

Men of the match: IRELAND – Connor Mackey JAMAICA – Wayne Rettie

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