The USA Rugby South staved off a second-half comeback attempt to beat Jamaica 29-12 Saturday in Papine, Jamaica.
The South utilized a stiff wind in the first half to build a 15-0 halftime lead, but Jamaica climbed back into the game midway through the second half.
“They had a couple of really good rugby league players in the centers and they really tackled well, put a lot of big hits on our players. It was a really physical game,” said South coach David Conyers of Jamaica.
“We just out-disciplined them and it paid off. We kicked four penalty goals and it made the difference, really.”
Slotting all four of those penalties was the Unversity of Florida’s Lucas Baistrocchi. He also ran in two tries, converting one.
“It was just determination, about 10-15 yards out just surging the line and just took them on,” said Conyers. “They were just good surging tries.”
Lock Stephen Hickey of Augusta also stood out in the game.
“He played the full 80 minutes and gave everything,” said Hickey of Conyers. “He was a really hard working forward that did a lot of dirty stuff for us that got us into a good position to win the game.”
Conyers also said the team has had the chance to enjoy just being in Jamaica. “Their hospitality here is just phenomenal. Everyone’s going out of their way to look after us. Just a real carnival sort of place and everyone’s having a good time.”
With the win, the South next travels to Bahamas. If they win, they’ll host Cayman. If they beat Cayman, they’ll play at Bermuda.