Oklahoma Defeats Jamaican National Team
In a close, exciting match last week in the Jamaican capital of Kingston, Oklahoma University scored a big victory over the Jamaican National Team 23-20.
The March 17 match was a test for both sides. Jamaica beat the St. Vincent National Team by 40 points last week and is facing Trinidad soon as part of the World Cup Qualification series.
The Sooners face Army in West Point in the first round of the Varsity Cup on April 9th.
The Jamaicans were much bigger and faster than the Oklahomans. But OU controlled possession in the loose throughout the match and played very strong defense in the midfield.
The match was a slugfest in the forwards with moments of spectacular speed by the Jamaican outside backs.
OU pounded inside and drove the Jamaican pack late in the match to secure the win.
Oklahoma vs Jamaica: Game Recap
OU scored first with a Vincent Fairbairn penalty kick about 3 minutes into the match after multiple phases deep into the Jamaican end.
Jamaica level the score with a drop kick by their scrum half from about 30 out at 8 minutes.
Oklahoma's fly half J'Son Townes scored the first try from about 5 meter after multiple phases to lead 8-3 at 12 minutes.
Jamaica tied it with a long break by their fullback.
Flanker Fairbain pounded through after multiple phases increasing the lead to 13-8.
Jamaica responded by pulling their wing wide and ran their halfback weak off 5 meter scrum move to tie it up at the half.
OU opened the scoring in the second half with another Fairbairn penalty kick from 22 meters at 58 minutes.
The play of the game was an interception by outside center and captain Tom Murphy who dove face first into the try zone to increase the score to 21-13. Townes converted for 23 with a frenetic five minutes left.
Jamaica put the pressure on and after a number of huge hits and two Sooner push over tries negated, the Jamaicans scored on a really long break with a number of offloads to narrow the score to 3 points with 2 minutes left.
Everyone was on their feet as time ticked down. Jamaica had a lineout at midfield when OU second row Alex Campbell stole the ball and win the ruck. Sooners cleared the ball to touch at full time.
"This was a historic match for us as Oklahoma has never played a National Team and it was an epic battle against some incredible athletes, the guys came together to find a way to win." said OU Head Coach Doug Neubauer.\
Successful Spring Tour
Oklahoma also won the first match of the tour against the Montego Bay Panthers 89-36 on March 15th and finished second in try Negril Sunsplash Sevens Rugby Tournament losing to the Mona Titans in the finals.
The Titans were all National Team players lead by the electric Andrew Pang who scored 40 points on the day and three tries in the finals. OU did notch wins over the Jamaican Defense Force, St. Catherine's, and the Spanish Town Vikings.
The tour was a great success according to Director of Rugby Jon Velie. "Playing a national team of superior athletes in a hostile environment forced out team to find something in themselves and deal with adversity.
Imagining and accomplishing this goal really helped this group become a team."