The USA Tomahawks have one hand on the Colonial Cup trophy after beating archrivals Canada 28-20 in Game Three of the series in Toronto.
“I cannot be happier to get the cash,” said USA coach Ben Kelly. “In hostile territory with a very short, disrupted preparation, the boys aimed up and executed brilliantly.”
The USA’s cause was led by Louis Tulio and Brent Shorten, who each scored twice, to spearhead the American triumph. Overall, the Tomahawks outscored the Wolverines by six tries to four.
The Tomahawks scored first and were never headed. Some well executed kicks, combined with some excellent finishing saw the visitors post three tries to go into the main intermission leading by 14-0.
“Outstanding player on the park was fullback Taylor Welch, who set up two great tries with deftly weighted kicks, caught every bomb put on him and ran solid out of his own end,” commented Kelly.
“Brent Shorten was great directing the boys around the field and always found space with his kicks to keep pressure on. Casey Clarke was sensational in the middle with brutal defense and a couple of big breaks through the ruck with the pill.
“Mike Schacter at prop played the whole 80 and is just going from strength to strength.”
The second half started in much the same fashion as the first forty had ended with the United States crossing for three more four-pointers to extend their lead to 28-0 and the question became could the home team make a comeback.
The Wolverines answered that question in style and nearly pulled off an unlikely W by scoring four unanswered tries. However, time wasn’t on their side and the fulltime whistle blew with the Canadians falling just short.
Their tries were scored by Louis Robinson, Ben Fleming, Christian Miller and Robin Legault.
The win sees the USA take a 2-1 lead in the series, plus they have an aggregate points advantage of 92-72.
This year’s Colonial Cup has been expanded to a four-game series to give the Tomahawks an extra match ahead of their Rugby League World Cup campaign. That game is set for Toronto on Saturday, September 28.
“Looking ahead now to the fourth game of this series where we will have some very tough decisions for the squad of 17 and the last chance for guys to impress before the World Cup squad is finalized,” added Coach Kelly.
USA TOMAHAWKS SQUAD:
Taylor Welch, Gareth Gibbs, Curtis Cunz, Luke Baron, Louis Tulio, Brent Shorten, Matt Walsh, Mike Schacter, Apple Pope, Salesi Tongamoa, Mark Offerdahl, Casey Clarke, Josh Rice, Matt Clarke, Charlie Rizzo, Phil Lauria, Denis Schmieler
CANADA WOLVERINES SQUAD:
Robin Legault, Brett King, Christian Miller, Geoff Bylund, Tony Felix, Matt Wyles, Jamie Lester, Ruairi McGoff, Chris Diamond, Rob Autagavaia, Ben Fleming, Henry Miers, Louis Robinson, Joe Bangay, Billy Skidgemore, Cam Grace, Enoch Wamalwa
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