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By David Graham & Ben Fleming

The Jamaican Reggae Warriors proved too strong in their historic first test match. In front of a modest yet vocal crowd, the Jamaican fans danced, sung and chanted loudly to steer their National team to their first ever win against Canada.

At the foot of the Jamaican hills, and at the scenic West Indies university, the Reggae Warriors came out of the blocks early scoring a try inside the first 5mins.  The Canadians, who prepared well given the difficult conditions were rattled at first, however steadied the ship with a try out wide from R. Schouten to make it 6-4 on the back of a D. McCarthy conversion.

A disallowed try slowed momentum and the Canadians were left chasing their fast paced, rivals who were rode the motivation provided by a parochial, energised home crowd.

In the end, the Jamaicans came prepared, executing their own game plan, speed through the middle, around the ruck, and exploiting the edges.Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling, people playing sport and outdoor

Coach Ben Fleming remarked, “I think we were our own worst enemy at times, mentally falling into a heap and not digging ourselves out at times. We had momentum at times, but then something wouldn’t go our way and we would just ‘fall off a cliff’. There were great moments that would perk us up again, however in all we just collectively struggled with Jamaica’s speed, the heat, the crowd, and the torrential/monsoon rain just prior to kick off.”


The Canadians casualty ward was less than impressive; Losing Cam Grace (groin strain) before the game wasn’t a good sign, but then losing Eric Moyer (concussion 10th minute) and Kevin Gurniak (Broken arm 27th minute) didn’t help, so playing with one substitute off the bench wasn’t what we were prepared for in the humidity and heat.


The crisis deepened midway into the second half with Jon Cregg (bone bruising) sitting out for 20mins. Although the Canadians dug deep, at one stage even playing a prop in the centres to make up numbers.

“Players in unusual and uncomfortable positions…That’s footy though, that’s the game and that’s how it unfolded, and we just didn’t adapt to the ebbs and flows.” Fleming remarked.

In a year with no World Cup glory, it begins a difficult page turning transition for the Wolverines who look to regroup and focus our efforts on Fiji on the 9th in Vancouver.



Full time

CANADA Try scorers
Schouten 10th min
Felix 45th min
Couzens 72nd min

Denny McCarthy 1 from 3

Americas Championship schedule:
USA 48 Jamaica 6 – Jacksonville, FL (July 22, 2017)
Jamaica 28 Canada 14 – Kingston, Jamaica (August 26, 2017)
Canada v USA – Toronto, ON (September 16, 2017)

Country Won Lost Tied Pts Differential
USA 1 0 0 +42
Jamaica 1 1 0 -28
Canada 0 1 0 -14