The Jamaica Rugby League Association launched the 2020 men’s season with the second annual New Year 9s. Eight community and intercollegiate teams took part in the tournament at the Duhaney Park Mini Stadium.
Following the group stages, Duhaney Park Red Sharks were crowned champions after defeating Caribbean Maritime University Spartans thanks to a sudden death field goal. Both teams were locked at 14-all at the end of regular time and neither could find the winner in golden point extra time, so it took drop kicks to separate them. Marvin Thompson sealed it for the Red Sharks after Kareem Harris went agonizingly close for the Spartans.
Washington Bulls won the Trophy after Akel Johnson’s last-gasp try on full-time to defeat Duhaney Park Firestorm 14-12. Cedar Grove Cyclones defeated UWI Pelicans 24-14 to take the Bowl and St. Bess Sledgehammers claimed the Plate over Liguanea Dragons with a 20-12 victory.
JRLA Director of Rugby Romeo Monteith said: “Nines is now a permanent part of the rugby league calendar and this is one of three open men’s tournament that will form a circuit to identify Jamaica’s best players in the short version of the sport. It’s quick which suits our guys and will act as selection for the 2021 America’s 9’s Championship and we’ll hopefully qualify for the World Cup 9s in 2022. The other two instalments will be the Easter 9s on April 4th and we conclude with the Summer Nines on May 30th.”