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Jamaica have overpowered the South African Rhinos 20 – 6 in difficult conditions at Campbell’s Field overnight in the Atlantic World Cup qualifier tournament.

After leading 10 – 6 at the break, the Jamaicans grinded out the victory as the rain poured down in New Jersey to send the South Africans home without a win in the tournament.

The win now sets up a ‘winner takes all’ showdown this Sunday between the Jamaicans and USA Tomahawks, with the eventual victor guaranteed a spot in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

Similar to their opening encounter, the Rhinos struggled to adapt to the difficult conditions, allowing the Jamaicans to grab an early lead through two quick tries to Paul White and Wayne Allen to setup a 10 – 0 lead after just the opening quarter of the match.

South Africa hit back through Rudolph Prinsloo just before halftime and with the successful conversion of Pieter van der Nest only trailed by four heading into the break, but that would be the closest they’d get, with the Jamaicans scoring the only points in the second half.

South African coach, Steven van Zyl, commented after the match that his team wasn’t prepared for the slippery conditions, “obviously the weather played a part. A lot of mistakes, a lot of handling mistakes… our defense wasn’t that good. We were battling to get off the ground in the tackles,” he said.

The Rhinos decision to stick with only local talent, whilst a positive for the development of their local competition made their quest for a third World Cup qualification a near impossible task.  

“I think a little bit of experience could have helped us, maybe we could have used some of our professional players. In the end, scrappy game, disappointed. I don’t think any coach would be happy with a loss. I think we’ve learned a lot out of the game and I think our support back home will back us using local players,” van Zyl said.

“Our boys are fully amateur, they will go back on Friday and end up back in South Africa on Sunday and everyone will go back to their day jobs.”

Jamaica will now turn their attention to Sunday’s must win clash against the USA Tomahawks at the same venue.

Tries: Wayne Allen 2, Paul White, Ryan Grant
Goals: Jymel Coleman 2 from 4
Team: Wayne Allen, Ashley Johnson, Romaen Campbell, Roy Calvert, Ryan Grant, Joseph Brown, Jode Sheriffe, Paul White, Lamont Bryan, Omari Caro, Ross Peltier, Richie Barnett, Waine Pryce, Jymel Coleman, Jamaine Wray, Danny Bravo, Corey Hanson, Karl Pryce Sandino Hastings, Tyronie Rowe

South Africa Rhinos:
Tries: Rudolph Prinslo
Goals: Pieter van der Nest 1 from 1
Team: Henry du Toit, Stevie Meyer, Gerrie Slabber, Francois Greyvensteyn, Christo Joubert, Andre Loader, Andre Olwagen, Rudi Prinsloo, Johan Fritz, Gerhard de Wet, Hans du Plessis, Riaan Engelbrecht, Deon Kraemer, Christo Louw, Sivive Mpondo, JP Nel, Pieter van der Nest, Marcelle Slabbert, Jonothan Soares, Rupert Wells