Rugby League Jamaica (RLJ) staged its annual New Year 9’s festival at the UWI Mona Bowl in Kingston last Saturday.

Nineteen teams turned up to contest four categories, including Wigan-Leigh College from England.  

Tries from Kenneth Walker (2), Marvin Thompson, Jade Harrison and Akel Jenson led Duhaney Park Redsharks to a 24-12 win over Washington Blvd Bulls in the men’s final.  

For the Bulls, Oshane Edie (2) and Linval Green replied with tries. Jamaica Defence Force shutout St Bess Sledgehammers 24-0 for third, while St Catherine OB Thundercats and Liguanea Dragons finished 5th and 7th respectively, topping West Kingston Hyenas and Spanish Town Vikings. 

The Women’s final was a hotly contested affair between Redsharks and Sledgehammers. Shanique Smith and Allison Frazier rushed the winners to 8-0 lead before Sledgehammers came roaring back through scores from Yanique Days and Yianna Wilson. It needed sudden death extra time to settle the affair, and it was Smith who produced a brilliant solo break to settle the matters. 

In Boy’s Academy U19 finals, Jamaica Hurricanes Academy A edged English outfit Wigan-Leigh College 12-8.  Scorers for Jamaica were Damoy Palmer, Tyreke Hutchinson and Shevaugh Smith, the latter scoring in extra time. Both Wigan tries came from Toa Bayliss. The win marked the first ever by a Jamaican domestic team over an English team in any format of the game. Meanwhile, in the High School U19 Category, BB Coke High school got the better of The Cedar Grove Academy 12-8.

Director of Romeo Monteith commented, "RLJ is extremely pleased with the execution of the tournament, we had competitive games all round and Wigan-Leigh added an excellent international flair to this staging."

In a momentous celebration of two decades of rugby league growth in Jamaica, Rugby League Jamaica (RLJ) has proudly revealed its comprehensive 2024 domestic calendar. With an impressive lineup of over eight competitions, RLJ is set to embark on its most extensive domestic season yet, promising thrills for fans and participants alike.

As part of the commemorative year, RLJ has refreshed its competition logo branding to reflect the vibrant and enduring spirit of its fan base. The iconic Doctor Bird branding, rooted in the organization's early years, serves as a symbol guiding them into a future filled with excitement and possibilities.

The kickoff for the domestic season is set for Saturday, February 10th, with the eagerly awaited Intercollegiate 9s Championship. This inaugural event will see institutions such as the University of The West Indies, University of Technology, Mico University College, Caribbean Maritime University, Excelsior Community College, and Browns Town Community College vying for supremacy at the Mico University campus, starting at 11 am.

Throughout the year, rugby league enthusiasts can look forward to a series of exhilarating events, including four Community Club 9-a-side tournaments. The "New Year's 9s" on February 17th at the UWI Mona Bowl will feature local clubs alongside the Wigan-Leigh College U18s from England. Wigan-Leigh College will also face off against Jamaica Hurricanes U19s on February 24th at the same venue, promising an international flair to the competition.

The action-packed first half of the year includes the launch of the High School U14 and U16 Championships on February 23rd, the Easter 9s on April 7th, the inaugural U23 Club Championship on April 23rd, and the Women’s National Club Championship (WNCC) on April 27th. The Men’s National Club Championship (NCC) and U19 Championships kick off on May 4th and July 20th, respectively.

As the calendar progresses into the latter half of the year, rugby enthusiasts can anticipate the return of the National Knock-Out Cup on September 14th, the commencement of the High School Boys and Girls U19 Championships on October 17th, the start of the Men’s Division 2 Championship on November 23rd, and the grand culmination with the Christmas 9s on December 21st.

Additionally, RLJ's National and Representative teams are gearing up for exciting matches, with specific details about opponents and dates to be unveiled in due course.

Romeo Monteith, Director of Rugby, expressed his anticipation for 2024, stating, "It’s an exciting period; we have never before planned such an array of activities in a single year. This is particularly gratifying as we celebrate our 20th anniversary."

Despite challenges, including the absence of a dedicated rugby league field in the country, RLJ remains steadfast in its commitment to innovation and robust offerings, underscoring the unwavering growth of rugby league in Jamaica. As the organization looks forward to an unparalleled year of rugby festivities, fans can expect 2024 to etch its place in the annals of the sport's history in the Caribbean.

 Rugby League Jamaica successfully concluded its ninth National Division II competition on at the UWI Mona Bowl. Once more, the eight-team competition saw cross-town rivals Duhaney Park Firestorm and Washington Boulevard Bulls battle for supremacy after previously getting past Liguanea Dragons and Mona Pelicans, respectively, in the semi-finals the week before.

The Firestorm emerged champions with a narrow 16-10 win. The final was a defensive battle throughout as both teams found it difficult to score. With a minute to go and the score locked at 10-all, it took a massive defensive stop by the Firestorm to secure victory.

Bulls was in possession and threatening to score. However, Oshane Edie was bundled into touch. At the restart, Javian Bryan broke free for the Firestorm and sprinted 80 metres to score under the posts to seal the win for the champs.

Other try scorers for the Firestorm were Akel Johnson and Akeem Murray, while Kemoy Whyte kicked two goals. For the Bulls, tries came from Racheed Pencle and Shawayne Collins, while Shamoy Stewart kicked a goal.

Commenting on the competition Director of Rugby Romeo Monteith said, “It was a great competition, one of the most competitive to date with very close scores in most of the games. The Firestorm have proven their resilience one more and congrats to them. One of the highlights for us is the high number of players aged between 18-23 that participated. This is really our target audience for this Division, and we see some fantastic athletes coming through.”

Duhaney Park Red Sharks defeated Washington Boulevard Bulls 21-8 in a thrilling final to the Easter’s tournament held at the BB Coke High School in St Elizabeth on Saturday. It was a historic occasion as it was the first time that the parish of St Elizabeth was hosting a senior Men’s 9-a-side rugby league tournament for the first time.

Both clubs went undefeated during the group stage and had identical 3-0 records heading into the final. The Bulls raced to an early lead through tries from Javon Lewis and Andree Lee but the Red Sharks pulled level before half-time with tries from Shaquille Pollack and Javian Bryan.

In the second half, the Red Sharks took the ascendancy with a strong defensive display and denied the Bulls any points and extended their lead with additional tries from Adrian Thomas, Kenneth Walker, Marvin Thompson, and Jenson Morris.

Tournament MVP Chevaughn Bailey wrapped up the scoring with a drop goal.

“We wanted our best performance on the day as we have lost out on the last few 9’s titles. Credit to all teams on making the journey to St. Elizabeth and special commendations to St Bess Sledgehammers on organizing a great tournament,” said winning captain Marvin Thompson.

West Kingston Hyenas copped third place with a close 8-4 win over the Jamaica Defence Force while hosts St Bess Sledgehammers finished fifth after an 18-8 win over St Catherine Thundercats.

 Portmore Rugby League Club took seventh spot with a 15-0 result over the Liguanea Dragons.

RLJ Vice Chair Adrian Hall was impressed with the tournament.

 “It was fantastic to see seven teams travel from Kingston and St Catherine and ensure a successful tournament,” he said.

“We hope to widen the footprint of rugby league in St Elizabeth and the Easter 9s was a good advert for the game. The JMD$70,000 in total prize money for the top three teams added a special incentive for teams to perform to their best.”

The tournament that was sponsored by Cheddi’s Surveillance Cameras and Digital Services, provided good preparation for several national players who will compete for Jamaica in the USARL 9s on May 20 in Naples, Florida.


Rugby League Jamaica (RLJ) kicked off its 2023 calendar of events by staging its annual New Year 9s tournament at the University if the West Indies last Saturday.  West Kingston Hyenas emerged as winners of the Men’s category that featured 10 teams. 

The Hyenas defeated the Jamaica Defence Force 8-4 in the finals to claim their first ever Rugby League Jamaica title. In the third-place play-off, the Duhaney Park Redsharks defeated Washington Blvd Bulls 12-4.  Other senior teams included Liguanea Dragons, Caribbean Maritime University Spartans, Portmore Rugby League Club, Duhaney Park Firestorms, Spanish Town Vikings and St Bess Sledgehammers. 

In the U19 Boys Open category, St Bess Sledgehammers emerged as champions, defeating Liguanea Dragons 24-8 in the final. In the third-place game, Cedar Grove Cyclones B defeated Cedar Grove A 16-12. 

According to Rugby League Director Romeo Monteith, "It’s a good start to the year, the tournament was a success in all areas, most community teams came out with both senior and junior teams and have set the tempo for the year. After losing out to the Bulls in the RLJ Summer 9s last year, it’s fantastic to see the Hyenas claim their first rugby league title and speaks to the competitive nature of the short version of the sport. Amongst community teams."


Rugby League Jamaica will launch its 2022 Parish of Residence (POR) series which serves as the national selection tool for Jamaica’s domestic players to the full national team, the Reggae Warriors, this Saturday, April 3 when the first of three games will be played at the UWI Mona Bowl in Kingston.

The kick-off is at 2:30 pm with the women’s game, followed by the men’s clash at 4:00 pm. Games two and three will be played at the same venue on May 21 and 28.

As is customary, national prospects have been placed in two squads, Reds, and Blues with most of the Reds' players coming from Kingston and St. Andrew while the Blues will mainly comprise players from St. Catherine with some from other parishes.

On Saturday, history will be created when the women's teams take the field as it will mark the first-time full-contact women’s rugby league is played locally.

“The women’s match is a big deal for us, the ladies have a big opportunity to qualify for the 2025 rugby league World Cup in France and this game marks the beginning of that journey. We are inviting all talented female athletes to give rugby league a go and be part of history,” said Rugby League Director Romeo Monteith.

Blues women players squad Tihana Lewinson, Lovel Atkinson, Daynna Angus, Khimoi McKay, Naomi Mohamid, Vanessa Henry, Debisha Scarlett, Nazomi Christie, Ray-Anna McCalla, Naomi Dodd, Kimisha Jones, Shanoa Lewis, Teresa Smith and Ciara Modest. The team is coached by Andre Hill.

Reds Women are Shanique Smith, Latoya Sanchez, Alicia Richards, Aneil Campbell, MoeshaBogle, Brooke-Ashley Jarrett, Tiana Gordon, Shawna-Kay Douglas, Anna Kay Williams, Dae-Marie Whyte, Sheirne Johnson, Gabrielle Davidson, Candice Tulloch, Nicola Brissett and Lovell Evans. The team is coached by Andrew Dixon and Huntley Anderson.

Among the men, the Reds' team will comprise Andrew Simpson, Kenneth Walker, Adrian Brown, Kevin Thomas, Jenson Morris, Joseph Shae, Adrian Hall, Daniel Graham, Marvin Thompson, Andre McFarlane, Neville Lynch, Kile Nembhard, Owen Linton, Oshane Eddie, Sheldon Kelly, Michael Pearson, and Mahkaya Anderson. The head coach is Donovan Jackson.

Blues men’s team includes Javian Bryan, Adrian Thomas, Shaqueil Pollack, Steve Miller, Miguel Facey, Ryan Grant, Julius Reid, Akeem Murray, Omar Jones, Khamisi McKain, Reinhardo Richards, Chevaughn Bailey, Ronaldeni Fraser, Chevaun Smith, Takeem Creary, and Linval Green. The head coach is Otis Brae.

Brae believes his squad is prepared to go all the way.

“We are ready. The lads have put in practice and getting themselves prepared for this series. The stem is to leave it all on the field where if they do their best, they are already winners," he said.
Meanwhile, Jackson also expressed confidence that the experience of his unit will see them to victory.

“We have a good culture in our squad and enough experienced players to lead us to another series win. We have prepared well; the players know what is at stake and are ready,” he said.

Monteith, who is also Jamaica's head coach, believes a lot is at stake for the players intending to make it into the national squad.

“What is at stake are spots to the rugby league World Cup in England at the end of the year, the players are aware of this and so am expecting high-quality rugby league. The games are always close so the fans will be in for a treat," he said.

"I am really looking forward to identifying the top performers from game 1 and seeing if they can carry through to the next two games.”

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