Today some more news from the World Cup Qualifiers.
The USA Tomahawks are not feeling any added pressure going into the all or nothing showdown with Jamaica in the final game of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup Atlantic Zone Qualifiers in Philadelphia this Sunday.
The winner will advance to the 2013 World Cup in England and Wales and in to Pool D alongside Wales and the Cook Islands.
The hosts sit atop the group standings and only need to draw the clash with rugby’s reggae boys to clinch that spot.
Both teams beat South Africa in their opening matches, the USA posting a 40-4 score line and Jamaica a 20-6 success.
“We’re in a pretty good state of mind,” says USA head coach Matt Elliott. “We’re planning to play better than we did in the first game and I’m just really excited for the players. Everyone’s concentrating on making their preparation right.”
The South Africa match was the first time that the combined American squad had played together as a unit as the coaching staff had opted for purely domestic-based teams in the internationals against Ireland and Canada earlier in the season.
Coach Elliott expects the fact that Sunday’s game is for a spot in the World Cup will have little bearing on how his side approaches the match.
“The way we performed in the first game really worked for us and there won’t be a whole lot of change,” continued Coach Elliott. “The focus was to come up with a strategy that worked and we did that.”
Jamaica have named the same 20-man squad as for their clash with the Rhinos.
2013 RLWCQ Schedule – Philadelphia:
GAME 3 – USA v Jamaica
2pm ET, October 23, 2011
Campbell’s Field, Camden, NJ
Final 20-man squads have been named by both the USA and Jamaica for Sunday’s crunch 2013 Rugby League World Cup Atlantic Zone qualifier in Philadelphia.
Jamaica has gone with an unchanged 20, while the Tomahawks have made just one change to its squad with European Super League player, Castleford’s Ryan McGoldrick being drafted into the side in place of Ian Elliott.
McGoldrick missed the first qualifier against South Africa because of a suspension handed to him by the Super League.
USA TOMAHAWKS SQUAD:
Mark Cantoni (Northern Pride), Curtis Cunz (Connecticut Wildcats), Michael Garvey (Aston Bulls), Daniel Howard (Wentworthville Magpies), Stephen Howard (Tuggeranong Valley, ACT), Andrew Kneisly (Aston Bulls), David Marando (Belrose Eagles), Ryan McGoldrick (Castleford Tigers), David Myles (Unattached), Mark Offerdahl (Carcassonne), Joseph Paulo (Parramatta Eels), Junior Paulo (Penrith Panthers), Matthew Petersen (Unattached), Apple Pope (Jacksonville), Joshua Rice (Hawaii Islanders), Justin Ripley (New York Knights), Nathan Smith (Louisville), Mitchell Stevens (Gateshead Thunder), Sione Taufa (Maui Voyagers), Sean Taylor (New York Knights)
Wayne Allen (Batley Bulldogs), Ashley Johnson (Coventry Bears), Romaen Campbell, Roy Calvert, Ryan Grant (Duhaney Park Red Sharks), Joseph Brown (Gateshead Thunder), Jode Sheriffe, Paul White (Halifax), Lamont Bryan, Omari Caro (Harlequins), Ross Peltier (Huddersfield Giants), Richie Barnett, Waine Pryce (Hunslet Hawks), Jymel Coleman, Jamaine Wray (Keighley Cougars), Danny Bravo (Leeds Rhinos), Corey Hanson (Sheffield Eagles), Karl Pryce (Wigan Warriors) Sandino Hastings, Tyronie Rowe (Vauxhall Rugby Club)
Lebanon overcame unfamiliar freezing temperatures to beat Russia 32-0 in Vereya to stay on course for a 2013 Rugby League World Cup berth.
The Cedars, whose preparation was hampered by a lack of training facilities and a three hour journey to the ground, struggled to come to terms with the biting wind and small pitch but still posted six tries.
Five of them came in the first half as the visitors proved strong up the middle and in support around the play the ball but in the second period they only added one further touchdown, in part because of the resolute Russian defence, but also as they forced passes and squandered possession.
Full back Cliff Nye opened the scoring in the sixth minute, snapping up a loose ball and cantering 40 metres for an unconverted try.
Just as he had in Lebanon’s opening Qualifying clash against Serbia last week, centre Danny Barakat posted a brace of touchdowns, crossing in the 18thminute to extend the lead to 10-0 with Nadim Couri’s first of three goals, and again a minute before the break.
Nick Kassis went in for a try just before the half hour and Adham El Zabedieh on the following set, Couri goaling both.
The only scores after the interval was a four-pointer to back rower Steve Azzi in the 64th minute, goaled by James Boustani.
Lebanon coach David Baysarri was satisfied just to come away with a victory. “It’s a win, but a lot of factors affected our performance,” he said. “We had to endure freezing conditions, which we weren’t used to.”
His opposite number John Stankevitch felt his charges were competitive. “I was very pleased with our defensive effort,” he noted. “I was particularly happy with how we managed to tighten things up in the second half, and overall I was pleased with the enthusiasm of the players.”
Maksim Suchkov, Mikhail Burlutskiy, Petr Botnarash, Vadim Fedchuk, Rustam Bulanov, Aleksander Lysokon (c), Eduard Ososkov, Sergey Konstantinov, Vladimir Vlasyuk, Ilgiz Galimov, Alexey Nikolaev, Grigory Esin, Sergey Gaponov. Subs: Igor Chuprin, Anatoly Grygorev, Vladimir Odnosumov, Artem Grigoryan
LEBANON 36 (26)
Cliff Nye, Adnan El Zabedieh, Danny Barakat, Danny Chiha, Adham El Zabedieh, James Boustani, Nadim Couri, Charlie Farah, Jamie Clark, Khaled Deeb, Nick Kassis, Steve Azzi, Ray Moujali. Subs: Walid Yassine, Ibrahim Ballout, Chris Saab, Robin Hachache.
Tries: Nye (6), Barakat (18, 39), Kassis (28), Adnan El Zabedieh (30), Azzi (64)
Goals: Couri 3, Boustani
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