The United States is just one win away from advancing to the 2013 Rugby League World Cup but knows the job is far from over. The USA Tomahawks won the opening game of the Atlantic Zone qualifying series with an impressive 40-4 decision over South Africa in Philadelphia. The American side fired on all cylinders as it ran in eight tries in a dominating performance against the Rhinos.
“Overall it was a great result and I’m really proud of the boys,” said Tomahawks captain Apple Pope. “We had a great mix with some overseas players and a lot of local amateur players that mixed well together. It really brought to life the sport of rugby league here in the States and it was a wonderful turnout from the fans. “Really what it’s about is spreading the knowledge of rugby league and giving them a sport that I know they’ll enjoy. Getting us into the World Cup and getting more Americans into the sport is what we have to do.”
The USA next faces Jamaica, the third team involved in the Atlantic Zone series, to determine who gets one of the last two seeds for the Rugby League World Cup. A win for the US would guarantee them a berth for the very first time. Jamaica faces South Africa on Wednesday, October 19 before squaring off against the Tomahawks on Sunday, October 23. A US victory would put them into Pool D alongside co-hosts Wales and Cook Islands.
The USA had a stellar outing in just about every facet of the game Saturday, something that wasn’t lost on Rhinos captain Andre Loader, who thinks the Jamaicans will have their hands full. “The USA was bigger, better and a lot fitter than us so they were better conditioned,” said Loader. “We tried to stick to a game plan, but because those guys were a lot fitter, faster and stronger it was really tough.”
JAMAICA v SOUTH AFRICA
Wednesday 1pm at Campbell's Field
USA v JAMAICA
Sunday 2pm at Campbell's Field
Military Appreciation Day
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