The 8th season of Intercollegiate Rugby League kicked off on Saturday November 24th at the Duhaney Park Mini Stadium the staging of the annual 9s Championship. The University of West Indies Pelicans, University of Technology Knights, Mico University Crocs, GC Foster Lions, Excelsior Community College Eagles and Caribbean Maritime University Spartans all challenged for the coveted cup. However, it was CMU Spartans who finished bottom of the table last year, who sprung major upsets to claim the title.
The teams were divided into two groups of 3. In the Group A, UWI defeated Mico 22-14, CMU20 def. Mico 8 and CMU 12 defeated UWI 8.
In Group B, GC Foster defeated UTech 20-12, EXED and GC Foster drew 14 and UTech nd Exed drew 10 all.
In the first semi-final, CMU controlled the pace of the game and earned a comfortable 16-4 win over a over matched EXED unit. In the second semis, UWI upset last year’s defending champion GC Foster with a close 12-6 win.
CMU was all class in the finals and led by tournament MVP Reinardo Richards; saw off UWI 16 points to 5. The pace and expansive passing game the difference between the two teams.
CMU’s victory is quite a remarkable achievement as they have only been playing the sport for two years. However, the University has recruited some of the country’s top rugby league players on scholarships including Richards, Adrian Brown and Orlando Messado, the move paying immediate and rewarding dividends.
Intercol rugby league Chair Romeo Monteith commented;
“CMU has showed vast improvements over the past two years and their commitment and investment in the education and sporting prowess of their student athletes was evident in the tournament. The quality of play from all the teams was very good and it’s clear that Intercol continues to be a nursery for some of Jamaica’s top rugby league players”