AIG MJAAs win IRB JWRT opener against Hong Kong

AIG MJAAs win IRB JWRT opener against Hong Kong

HONG KONG, China – The USA Rugby AIG Men’s Junior All-Americans began their IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy campaign with a 37-0 win against Hong Kong at Hong Kong Football Club Ground Monday.

The tournament host kept the MJAAs to just one try in the first 40 minutes. Gabe Farley blocked a Hong Kong clearance kick and dotted down for the team’s first try. Hong Kong’s Jordan Cooper was shown a yellow card late in the half and Ben Cima added three points to the MJAAs’ score with a penalty kick, good for an 8-0 halftime lead.

Cima kicked a second penalty on the other side of halftime before Cooper was released from the sin bin for an 11-0 lead. In the 50th minute, Nemia Qoro extended the lead with a try. Cima’s conversion brought the score to 18-0.

Qoro added his second try before Niall Barry scored his first of the tournament as the MJAAs led 30-0 midway through the second half. Farley recreated his first try with another block to bring the final score to 37-0.

“We were made to work hard by a passionate home team,” MJAA Head Coach Billy Millard said. “The boys put it together in the second half and made use of some hard go-forward.”

Hear more from Millard on the win:

The MJAAs earned the all-important bonus point with the 37-0 win, putting them first in Pool A with five points. Georgia, who defeated Tonga in the other Pool A match, only received four points from its 34-10 victory.

Georgia scored three minutes into its match against Tonga and had a 21-0 halftime lead, though Tonga went down to 13 men on the pitch twice. The two unbeatens – Georgia and the MJAAs – will meet Friday, April 11, in their second match at the JWRT.

“Plenty to work on before playing Georgia on Friday,” Millard said. “They are a very big and well-drilled team.”

USA Rugby AIG Men's Junior All-Americans | v Hong Kong
1. Titi Lamositele
2. Codi Jones
3. Val Lee-Lo
4. Christian Wiessing
5. Oliver Drew
6. Ben Pinkelman
7. Hanco Germishuys
8. Vili Toluta'u
9. Erik Thompson
10. Ben Cima
11. James Vaifale
12. Gabe Farley
13. Nemia Qoro
14. Scott Dean
15. Niall Barry

USA Rugby AIG Men's Junior All-Americans | Reserves
16. Marshall Godfrey
17. Peter Malcolm
18. Tyler Enfield
19. Zach Bonte
20. Mike Reid
21. Joe Kelly
22. Seth Halliman

USA Rugby AIG Men's Junior All-Americans | 37
Tries: Farley (2), Qoro (2), Barry
Conversions: Cima (3)
Penalties: Cima (2)

USA Rugby AIG Men's Junior All-Americans | IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy
v Georgia - Friday, April 11 - 3:00 A.M. ET
v Tonga - Tuesday, April 15 - 3:00 A.M. ET

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