In their international debut on Saturday, September 23, Jamaica's Women Reggae Warriors fell 8-78 to the USA Hawks at the MONA Bowl, University of West Indies, in Kingston.
It was a baptism of fire for the local ladies who were tasting international level rugby league for the first time. The team started positively forcing the Hawks into early errors, however, they were unable to able to consistent make defensive stops.
Jamaica kicked a penalty early on, and prop Debisha Scarlett who came on as a substitute barged over with their first-ever try just after the break. Skipper Shanique Smith, who kicked both their goals, commented: “The game was good seeing that most of the girls are new to league. We came out and fought and that’s all you can ask them for. We made some statements that no-one was expecting, especially in defence off our line and that was a plus for us.
“We are looking at the mistakes we made and how to fix it.”
For the USA, Centre Cyndi Campbell led the way with three tries and four goals, Brittney Dayes and Marcya Baylous each claiming four touchdowns.
USA women’s captain Samantha Black commented: “It was everything I could have hoped for. The team came together and was super composed. The weather was a little hot and we were grateful it started to rain but there were smiles all round.
“I have really high hopes for us against Canada, we played them 18 months ago and have grown a lot since then, new people on the roster and the returners are much stronger than last time and it should be a close match up.”
She added of player of the match, fullback Dayes: “She was amazing, she wasn’t feeling too well in the lead up and we were really worried about her, we gave her a bunch of electrolytes and she slept a lot but she is incredibly reliable and we are so proud of her.”
Team Jamaica is proudly supported by:
Local car rental company Hertz Jamaica and Express Fitness and the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.
Shanice Stewart, Mischica Stewart, Shoya Gordon, Tajera Jicholson, Venisha Mcleish, Alicia Richards , Shanique Smith, Sherine Johnson, Lovel Atkinson, Zahar Ennis, Darcy Price, Alassandra Miller, Tihanna Lewison
Subs: Anneisha McAllister, Daynna Angus, Debisha Scarlett, Amerr Kinlock
Try: Scarlett (42)
Goals: Smith 2/2
Brittney Dayes, Agnus Fuerst, Cyndi Campbell, Marcya Baylous, Mariah Blackmore, Samantha Black, Courtney Treco, Paris Harr, Nicole Fisch, Narcisse Jordan, Jeanne Beard, Katie Sanford, Caitlin Davis
Subs: Danielle Pola Wazko Siua, Shamarica Scott, Rachel Bradley, Nikki Snyder
Tries: Campbell (4, 34, 62), Dayes, (9, 13, 33, 78), Baylous (20, 35, 48, 50), Snyder (61, 72), Jordan (75), Samantha Black (80)
Goals: Treco 4/7, Fuerst 1/1, Campbell 4/7
Half time: 2-38