Highlights and Talking Points as Leeds Rhinos, Hull KR and Wigan Warriors signings score for Ireland against Jamaica

Ireland took a huge stride towards the quarter-finals of the Rugby League World Cup with an impressive 48-2 win over Jamaica in which their spine and pack shone. Can they go onto secure a place in the last eight?

Highlights:

Walk in for Senior
After the Senior twins had missed a few chances early in the game, a lovely scrum move opened up plenty of space for Richie Myler who had the simple job of teeing Louis Senior up for a walk in.

George King powers over
Skippers lead by example and that’s exactly what King did. The Hull KR forward powered over from close range after his Irish teammates had sapped Jamaica of energy and had them on the backfoot. He showed good discipline to avoid lifting the arm as he pushed over allowing momentum to get the try.

Unstoppable O’Hagan
York hooker O’Hagan was at the centre of confusion at the start of the game after starting at nine despite the fact he was named on the bench on the official teammate with Josh Cook starting. Ireland were nearly stripped of an interchange as consequence until it was confirmed that it was due to a system error reversing this decision. Just before O’Hagan made way for Cook, he darted over showing immense pace and strength to storm over.

Keary the magician
Luke Keary, alongside Myler and Joe Keyes, tormented Jamaica once they were fatigued by the good work of the Irish middles. Keary showed his class with a probing run before his offload to James Bentley paved the way for Ed Chamberlain to score.

Huddersfield youngster gets Jamaica’s first World Cup points
On the stroke of halftime, Jamaica were awarded a penalty and it led to young Huddersfield man Kieran Rush delivering their first ever World Cup points.

Another King and another Senior score
The first half’s first tries came courtesy of Louis Senior and George King and their brothers Innes Senior and Toby King got over for the first tries of the second half. Credit the pass from Myler to allow Senior to walk in like his brother earlier. Toby King had sparked the play that led to Myler’s easy pass, and King got a deserved try no doubt exciting Wigan fans.

Huddersfield’s Harry gives them a taste of what’s to come
After a brilliant break down the left from Ireland, Huddersfield’s new signing Harry Rushton showed his quality as he bounced off a tackle and kicked ahead for King to get the try he deserved.

Keyes unlocks to defence again
It would be easy to focus on Super League star Myler and NRL star Keary, but the other part of the Ireland spine, Championship Joe Keyes, was also outstanding and his early long ball outwide paved the way for Louis Senior’s second.

Leeds backrowers present and future get tries
The backrow signing Leeds made going into 2022 and the backrow signing they’ve made going into 2023 both got tries as James Bentley and James McDonnell both showed immense strength to get over for tries.

Halton adds another
After that from Leeds backrowers, Hull KR’s Frankie Halton got in on the act also showing great strength to get over for the try.

Jamaica’s cover defence
A lot of focus will be on the points Ireland scored, but the points they didn’t shows the effort Jamaica conjured up to deny them again and again. The best came from Alex Young on the breakaway Josh Cook whilst the cover defence they conjured up to deny the Senior twins so many tries is commendable. They certainly gave it their all.

Talking Points:

Irish pack leads the way
It’s easy to focus on the tries Ireland scored and the exciting rugby their spine played, but it was founded on the back of some hard work in the middle of the field from their forwards who squeezed the life out of Jamaica and plenty of their star forwards then picked up deserved tries.

Spine shines
Luke Keary, Joe Keyes and Richie Myler were all brilliant creating tries for others on the back of this forward dominance. They could be the key to getting to the quarter-finals.

Jamaican effort
Credit to Jamaica, up against a top notch Ireland side, they never gave up and produced some stunning try saving tackles. The future is bright for rugby league in Jamaica.

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