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Jamaican rugby players set to have a ball

MY BALL: Red Sharks’ Damon Gayle (left) faces off against Tyronie Rowe of Vauxhall

ONE OF highlights of the Jamaican rugby season takes place this weekend. The seventh JRLA Grand Final takes place on September 10 at the Red Stripe Oval in Kingston.

Defending champions Vauxhall Rugby Club will look to retain their title against bitter cross-town rivals the Duhaney Park Red Sharks. There is no love lost between the sides who have contested some epic battles over the years.
Vauxhall start as favourites as they look to claim their fifth national title in as many appearances.

The Red Sharks, on the other hand, have never won the coveted cup in five previous appearances and revenge will be foremost on their minds as Vauxhall have defeated them in the three previous Grand Final encounters, including a 36-14 loss in last year’s big game.

Both teams are blessed with an abundance of talent sharing between them 16 of the Jamaica national players who opposed Canada in the Caribana Cup in July.

Vauxhall will be relying on hard running forwards Tyronie Rowe and Omar Jones for inspiration and power up front.

The Red Sharks will depend on Romaen Campbell and Andrew Smith to do their own damage up the middle and create scoring opportunities for their very fast backline players.

The man tasked with ensuring that the match goes smoothly is referee iJevaughn Hall of the University of Technology.

Rugby is growing in popularity in Jamaica. Traditional sports such as cricket, football and basketball remain popular.

However, rugby is attracting increasing numbers of players and audiences.

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