National High School Rugby League Championships begin


National High School Rugby League Championships begin

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

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The National High School Under-14 and Under-16 Rugby League Championships kick off in earnest today, joined by the historic first season of a girls' league.

In a first for rugby in Jamaica, the girls' tournament will be played under modified rules by three schools — Ascot High, The Cedar Grove Academy and Waterford High.

In another boost for the schools' league, an innovative partnership has been struck with Australian charity Dev Inno, which has agreed to support the tournament and to provide educational courses for young entrepreneurs.

Eight schools are down to compete in the Under-14 competition in two groups. Group A has Ascot High, The Cedar Grove Academy, B B Coke High, and Old Harbour High, whilst Group B features defending champions Calabar High, St Catherine High, Kingston College, and Waterford High.

In the Under-16 category, Group A features defending champions Old Harbour High, Ascot High, The Cedar Grove Academy, B B Coke High, and debutants New Forrest High from St Elizabeth.

Group B features Calabar High, Spanish Town High, St Catherine High, Kingston College, Campion College, and Waterford High.

The season will culminate with the grand finals day on March 20.

“We have another fantastic year of high school rugby league planned, and the launch of our girls' tournament is an important milestone in the growth of our game,” said Rugby League Jamaica director Romeo Monteith.

He added: “We hope that this is the first step to our Jamaican women joining our men in future Rugby League World Cup tournaments beyond our debut appearance in 2021.

“We welcome Dev Inno as our first major tournament partner for the high school tournaments, and their vision for social improvement through sport matches perfectly with ours at the Jamaica Rugby League Association.”

The boys' Under-16 tournament kicked off last Wednesday with Calabar defeating Spanish Town 34-10. Shaquan Brown, Jelanie Barrett and Fitzroy McLeod all scored two tries for the winners, with Bryan Williams kicking three goals. For Spanish Town, Damani Ford top-scored with six points from a try and a goal, with Kevroy McKenzie giving support with a try.

Matches continue today as follows:

Kingston College take on Enid Bennett at 2:00 pm at Waterford High in Under-14 action, while in the Under-16 section, Kingston College oppose Waterford High at 3:00 pm at Waterford High.

Tomorrow, New Forrest High face Old Harbour High at 12 noon in Under-16 section; while B B Coke High face Ascot High at 1:00 pm in the Under-14 category, and an hour later the same schools meet in the Under-16 section. All games will be played at B B Coke High School grounds.

Action continues on Friday at Campion College with St Catherine taking on the hosts at 3:00 pm in Under-16 play.

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