Cedar Grove defends U19 Rugby League title in dominant win over BB Coke

By Sports Desk December 01, 2023

In an engaging finale at Campion College, the Rugby League Jamaica/Flash Ship Couriers National U19 Championship concluded on Tuesday, with defending champions Cedar Grove Academy securing their second consecutive hold on the coveted title. Displaying a dominant performance, the champs successfully fended off the challenge from BB Coke High, securing a resounding 26-6 victory.

Cedar Grove's victory was anchored by standout performances from Melvin Harris and Kaden Hunter, each contributing with two tries, while Hunter also showcased his kicking prowess by adding a goal. Additional try-scorers for the champs included Jahsemia Tulloch and Tajay Brown. BB Coke's lone try came from Tyrone Davidson, and Domique Myers added a goal.

Expressing his joy over the victory, winning coach Antonio Baker remarked, “We are elated that we won. Our victory is a culmination of years of hard work and a continuation of our dominance at the U19 level, seeing that we also won the championships last year. I am very proud of the progress the boys are making and hope that they will transition to playing the sport at the adult level.”

In the battle for the third-place position, host Campion College faced a closely contested match against Calabar High, ultimately losing 2-1 on drop-goals after both teams were deadlocked in a 12-12 tie following full and extra time.

Calabar's try-scorers, Tevez Tulloch and Tyreke Hutchinson, made crucial contributions, with goals coming from Dean Griffiths and Timor Osbourne. For Campion, Deshawn Gordon and Jaleel Green scored tries, while Josiah Neil kicked two goals. In the kick-off, only Maliq Morris made a successful kick.

 

Related items

  • Penrith Panthers want ‘redemption’ in World Club Challenge against Wigan Penrith Panthers want ‘redemption’ in World Club Challenge against Wigan

    Sold-out signs and the sight of the world’s best player gunning for revenge are set to make it a World Club Challenge to remember when Wigan pit their wits against triple NRL defending champions Penrith Panthers at the DW Stadium on Saturday.

    The Warriors will join the Sydney Roosters as five-time winners of the prestigious, if inconsistently contested, pinnacle of the global club game if they deal a further blow to a side still smarting from their golden-point defeat to St Helens a year ago.

    For all their acclaim as one of the greatest sides to grace Australia’s high-profile and lucrative NRL, Penrith are still yet to lift the accolade, having lost all three of their previous finals, including to Wigan in 1991, and it is something their talismanic half-back Nathan Cleary is desperate to put right.

    “Losing to Saints last year still hurts, but we’re lucky enough to get the chance of redemption,” said Cleary, who led Australia to World Cup glory on his last visit to the UK in 2022.

    “As a club we haven’t won the World Club Challenge so that’s another thing we want to do, get the final trophy in the cabinet.

    “I have fond memories of being over here and winning the World Cup, and although I’m back with a different team there’s the same desire and drive. It’s a great challenge but also a great opportunity and the end goal would be special.”

    In contrast Wigan boast a stirring history in the competition, their notoriously brutal initial win over Manly at Central Park in 1987, starring the likes of Ellery Hanley, Joe Lydon and Henderson Gill, followed by subsequent triumphs in 1991, 1994 and 2017.

    In centre Adam Keighran, whom they signed from Catalans at the end of last year’s Grand Final-winning campaign, they also possess something of an inside-track on what makes their rivals tick, the 26-year-old having spent two years with Penrith’s New South Wales Cup side from 2018.

    Keighran told the PA news agency: “I think there are similarities between both clubs. Penrith are a bit isolated out there in the west and they form a very tight-knit group involving the whole community, and I’ve noticed the same thing here.

    “I know last year was a very disappointing loss for them and I think it’s something they’re very keen to change. I don’t think their perception of the English game has changed but they’ll be more hungry than they were last year to set things straight.”

    After a sporadic start, the World Club Challenge has been played every year, barring Covid, since 2000, although it was not until 2014, when Wigan were swept aside by Sydney Roosters, that the event in its modern iteration was staged outside the UK.

    The perceived reluctance of English teams to travel drew scorn from some in Australia who suggested clubs used the event as little more than pre-season preparation, but the nature and magnitude of Saints’ win last year appears to have contributed to a significant shift-change.

    While the old days of well over 30,000 packing into the old Central Park to watch the win over Manly have long gone, the sold-out signs at the DW Stadium have been stuck up since January which bears testament to the enthusiasm for a fixture that could steer Wigan to the summit for a fifth time.

    “There has been a real anticipation and buzz around the town for months now,” said Wigan captain Liam Farrell, who also played in his side’s defeat to the Roosters at the DW Stadium in 2019.

    “The club has got a strong history in the World Club Challenge, so if we can play our small part in that and get a win on Saturday, that would be great for us to be a little piece of that special history.”

    Wigan will draft academy product Harvie Hill into their line-up in place of new signing Luke Thompson, who is absent having failed a head injury assessment in the wake of their opening Super League win over Castleford.

    Penrith head coach Ivan Cleary also turns to youth, with 20-year-old Jack Cole set to partner Nathan Cleary in the halves in the absence of the injured Jarome Luai.

  • Jamaica Hurricanes U19 Academy faces Wigan-Leigh test on Saturday Jamaica Hurricanes U19 Academy faces Wigan-Leigh test on Saturday

    Jamaica Hurricanes Academy U19s will square off against touring Wigan-Leigh College from England in a groundbreaking rugby league test match at the UWI Mona Bowl on Saturday, February 24. This marks the first time Hurricanes will field an U19 team against international opponents in the 13-a-side version of the game. Kick-off is scheduled for 3:30 pm.

     The Wigan-Leigh College team, currently on a development tour to Jamaica, are from the North of England and linked to English professional club Leigh Leopards, competing in the Super League. During their stay, they have conducted coaching and match official seminars with local personnel and hosted coaching clinics at The Cedar Grove Academy and Campion College. They are the fourth international team to tour the island within the past six months.

     The Hurricanes have already gained a significant milestone from the tour, securing a 12-8 victory over the visitors in the U19 Academy Finals at the New Year 9s on February 17. The historic win marked the first time a domestic Jamaica team earned a win against a team from England in any format of the game. The Hurricanes are comprised of Jamaica’s top High School and Club U19 players, the Academy is an integral part of the domestic development for elite players.

     Looking towards the game, Antonio Baker, Hurricanes Academy Coach, said, “Rugby League Jamaica has dedicated considerable effort to developing rugby league at the grassroots level. The Test will offer a valuable opportunity to assess our progress, facing top-tier opposition from England. I am confident the team will give their best effort, as they all aspire to represent their country admirably.”

     Kieron Purtill, Coach of Wigan-Leigh College, expressed gratitude for the warm hospitality extended by the Jamaican rugby league community, remarking, “The reception we've received in Jamaica from the rugby league community has been outstanding since the day we arrived. Participating in the Nines tournament was a fantastic experience for our team, showcasing a very high standard and significant participation. We eagerly anticipate our test match this Saturday as we prepare to take on a swift and robust Jamaican teamAnt. Rugby league emerges as the ultimate victor, and our partnership between Leigh Leopards, Wigan-Leigh College, in conjunction with Rugby League Jamaica, has provided a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all the young players involved. We hope this tour paves the way for other teams to visit and partake in what we've experienced, further aiding the development of rugby league in Jamaica.”

  • Penrith eager to join world club champions’ roll call ahead of Wigan showdown Penrith eager to join world club champions’ roll call ahead of Wigan showdown

    Penrith head coach Ivan Cleary is eager to see his all-conquering NRL giants belatedly join the roll call of world club champions with victory over Wigan at the DW Stadium on Saturday.

    The Panthers fell short against Wigan and Bradford in 1991 and 2004 respectively before suffering an agonising golden point defeat to St Helens on home territory in February last year.

    Despite being one of the NRL’s greatest sides by common consensus after three-straight title wins, Cleary knows an asterisk will remain beside his side’s achievements until they have ascended to the global crown.

    “It’s the one thing we haven’t been able to do – only 12 teams have managed to win this thing and we’ve had three goes and missed out on it,” said Cleary.

    “You look through the list of winners and only the big clubs have done it, so for us to be on that list would be big.

    “I’ve watched these games for many years from growing up as a kid and it’s a big game – you don’t play for a world championship every day and I think both teams will show what it means on the night.”

    Both sides have been hit by injury setbacks ahead of the fixture with Cleary confirming Penrith will hand 20-year-old Jack Cole only his second senior start at stand-off in place of absent star Jarome Luai.

    Wigan meanwhile will draft youngster Harvie Hill into their front row after losing new signing Luke Thompson to concussion in Saturday’s Super League season-opener at Castleford, with another new boy Sam Walters already sidelined.

    But Wigan head coach Matt Peet admitted he breathed a huge sigh of relief when half-back Harry Smith escaped a ban following a yellow card for a tip-tackle in the same fixture, meaning he can line up at the sold-out DW Stadium.

    Peet admitted he had been concerned but was “chuffed” by the news and added: “I think both teams want to come up against the best of one another.

    “We want to see Harry on that stage, particularly because of the journey he’s been on, coming through that pathway.

    “Harvie is another home-grown lad which is brilliant and it is an exciting opportunity for him.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.