England Knights crushed Jamaica’s Reggae Warriors 56-4 at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle Stadium in Castleford.
Before an audience of more than 2000 fans gathered for the only the second international friendly between the two countries, the Knights were anything but ‘friendly’ to the Caribbean men in the pummeling they received.
The Reggae Warriors started positively, going directly up the middle and traded set for set with England with Props Michael Lawrence and Ross Peltier showing plenty of steam.
There was the opportunity to go for two points after a late hit on scrum-half Jy-mel Coleman resulted in a penalty. However, the Warriors chose to run the ball and gave up the easy two-point option.
At the 13-minute mark, Peltier barged over the try line but was held up by the defense. Unfortunately, in the same attacking set, Jordan Turner’s attempted pass to Jacob Ogden was intercepted by Jack Broadbent and the speedy English center raced 95 meters to open the scoring. Will Pryce converted as Jamaica fell 0-6 behind.
England was on the score sheet again minutes later when Danny Walker scurried over the try line from dummy-half. Pryce again booted the extra two.
Jamaica made it 4-12 when another raid on the left edge saw Ben Jones-Bishop bully his way over the line.
Coleman missed the conversion and that was the closet the Warriors would get to England for the rest of the evening.
England’s pace across the field, brilliant ruck defense and overall ruthlessness when they had scoring chances, saw them rack up an additional eight tries as the game unfolded.
Jamaica would have felt hopeful at halftime when the score was 4-24, but England made sure there was no way back for the Warriors.
“I think we started the game well, but the interception changed everything. We were a bit poor around the ruck and conceded too many tries there. We probably lacked a bit of effort in the second half too and kind of succumbed to the game,” said Reggae Warriors coach Jermaine Coleman.
“But it was good for us to blow the cobwebs off as couple of our boys haven’t played for five or six weeks now. It was probably difficult keep in shape the right way to play against the best young players England have to offer. We have Scotland next week and we have the opportunity to put some things right.”
Meanwhile Director of Rugby and Head Coach Romeo Monteith praised England but said the Reggae Warriors were already looking ahead to their upcoming match against Scotland.
“England put in a good performance, and nothing less was expected from a squad with 17 young full-time players eager prove they can step up to the full senior team,” he said.
“We only had three full timers and 17-part timers, we all saw the gulf in fitness after 10 minutes and that’s the nature of sport. We obviously aren’t pleased with the score line, but as a programme we cannot be afraid to face the best players and nations in the world when given the opportunity. It was great being able to support Jordan Turner’s testimonial and for us to measure ourselves. Next week, our full ranking international against Scotland will be another big test, they have 10 Super League players, and we will have to lift ourselves on and off the field to get the job done,” he added.