USA Hawks History

In 2015, under the guidance of English Super League coach Brian McDermott (Leeds Rhinos), the national team, which had been renamed yet again and were now the USA Hawks, won the Americas Region Qualifying series for the 2017 World Cup by beating Canada and Jamaica. In 2016, the inaugural Rugby League Americas Championship series was played between the USA, Canada and Jamaica with the Hawks emerging victorious. In Sean Rutgerson, took over Head Coach responsbilities for the RLWC2021 Qualifiers Americas in Jacksonville 2018.

USA 16 v Cook Islands 38

USA 16 v Cook Islands 38

Final World Cup repechage qualifier, 2019

The World Cup dream of the United States Hawks ended in Jacksonville. 

After competing in the previous two global tournaments, the Hawks were beaten 38-16 by Cook islands, who claimed the 16th and final berth at the 2021 edition of the event in England. 

The Kukis led 12-6 at halftime in the final repechage encounter at the UNF Rugby Field in Jacksonville and had to overcome St Helens forward Dominique Peyroux being sent to the sin bin in the second half.

Winger Bereta Faraimo gave the home side more than a glimmer of hope by narrowing the margin to just two early in the second half and even when the margin opened up again, Sean Rutgerson's side hit back with another try.

But in unseasonably chilly conditions, it was just too much for the Americans against a team made up of seasoned professionals from both hemispheres. A searing 55-metre try from the kick-off to Cook Islands in the final minute topped off their display.

Things started well for the Kukis when they got the ball back from the kick-off.

At the nine-minute mark, prop Vincent Rennie broke through in mid-field and found halfback Troy Dargan training through in support. Steve Marsters goaled from in front.

Anthony Gelling was next to score.

After a penalty, the centre took an inside ball from Brad Takairangi and dotted down to the right of the posts, Masters landing an easy conversion with 18 minutes gone.

But a little shimmy from second rower Matt Shipway allowed the Hawks to post their first points 11 minutes before halftime.

A long cutout pass gave the Kukis defence enough reason to hesitate and the Port Macquarie forward took the opportunity to wrongfoot an opponent. Faraimo added the extras.

Immediately after the resumption of play in the second half, Hull's Faraimo scored out wide for the United States off a Ryan Burroughs offload and Faraimo was unable to convert from out wide.

At 52 minutes, Peyroux was sent to the sin bin for a lifting tackle, giving the Hawks a numerical advantage.

But instead of ramming home that advantage, the Hawks conceded a try when Brisbane Broncos star Alex Glenn launched himself at the try line on the left side, referee Scott Mikalauskas checking his touch judges before pointing at the spot.

Steven Marsters was unable to convert.

With 15 minutes remaining, Tony Iro’s side appeared to seal victory when he bustled his way over on the left side, close enough to the posts for South Sydney signing Marsters to add two points.

But Rory Humphreys’ grubber kick with 11 remaining was probably intended only to force a repeat set. In fact, it was fumbled by Cook Islands on the line and Danny Howard flopped on the lolling Steeden.

Faraimo converted and Brad Takairangi sent the restart sailing out on the full.

But despite the error, Souths’ Dargan stepped his way over the line in the 72nd minute for to kill off the Hawks’ second wind, with Marsters goaling.

Reuben Rennie iced the victory in with three minutes left but replacement  Tevin Arona raced 55 metres down the right wing from the kick-off to underscore their superiority.

USA 16

Corey Makelim; Ryan Burroughs, Bureta Faraimo, Elijah Ieriko, Jamil Robinson; Rory Humphreys, Connor Donehue; Mark Offerdahl (c), Kristian Freed, Sonny Pettybourne, Matt Shipway, Danny Howardm Eddy Pettybourne. Substitutes: Tim Stubbs, Kevin Reed Jr , Charlie Jones, Joe Eichner.

Tries: Shipway (29), Faraimo (41), Howard (69). Goals: Faraimo 2/3.



Kayal Iro; Paul Ulberg, Reuben Rennie, Anthony Gelling, Steven Marsters; Brad Takairangi, Troy Dargan;  Sam Mataora, Aaron Teroi, Vincent Rennie, Alex Glenn (c), Marata Niukore, Dominique Peyroux. Substitutes: Moses Nooao-McGreal, Adam Tangata, Uiti Baker, Tevin Arona.

Tries: Dargan (9, 72), Gelling (18) Glenn (56) V Rennie (65) R Rennie (77) Arona (80) Goals: Marsters 4/7.

Referee: Scott Mikalauskas (England).

Halftime: 6-12.

Jamaica 26 v USA 24

Jamaica 26 v USA 24

Mid-season Test, 2019

Two tries from Duhaney Park Red Sharks back rower Ryan Grant set Jamaica on the road to a 26-24 victory over the USA, in the nations' first meeting on Caribbean soil, at the Mona Bowl, University of West Indies, Kingston.

The Reggae Warriors held on after a late comeback from the Hawks, who led 18-14 at the interval. “The contest was excellent throughout,” said JRLA head coach and director of rugby, Romeo Monteith. “The intensity of the fight in the heat and never-say-die attitude of both teams thoroughly entertained the crowd. It was a pleasure having the USA team here for the first time and we look forward to welcoming them again in future. However, we will need to be better for when we play in the 2021 World Cup.”

The win was Jamaica’s second in succession over the Hawks in eight meetings, the Test match played as part of rugby league’s international weekend.

The hosts started nervously, debutant USA scrum-half Charlie Jones capitalising with a cross-field kick to uncover winger Tristan Sylk; Jones converting. Jamaica responded when speedster Adrian Thomas gathered a bouncing long pass from Fabion Turner and raced in on the left edge, and they went into the lead on the re-start, hooker Akeem Murray breaking the defensive line and off-loading to the supporting Grant; Chevaughn Bailey with the goal.

The Hawks then took back the ascendancy, Jamil Robinson finding space on the right to cross and, three minutes later, Jacksonville debutant Kevin Wathen, who made a big impact off the bench, crossing between the posts; Alex Foster goaling both.

Jamaica struck back just before the half ended, powerful centre Kevin Thomas releasing full-back Kenneth Walker, and they took control of the second half with an early try from substitute Jenson Morris from the back of a scrum. Grant followed with his double following a strong run and fend, prop Mohnejo Thompson kicking both conversions to put the Warriors in charge at 26-18.

Both teams continued to trade attacking raids without finding the final pass, but the visitors were rewarded when Jones sliced through the middle for a fine solo try with six minutes left, Foster adding the extras.

Hawks team manager Billy Neilson noted: “It was a tough loss but a great game. The boys on both sides played their hearts out and the crowd was awesome. Congratulations to Jamaica and we look forward to facing them again soon.”

USA 24 

Alex Foster; Randy Porter, Cody Blackwell, Josh Jackson, Tristan Sylk; Sterling Wynn, Charlie Jones; Jon Purnell, Bart Longchamp, Kyle Denham, Khalil Harris, Jamil Robinson, Nick Newlin. Substitutes: Sean Hunt, Dane Wilcoxen, Kevin Wathen.

Tries: Robinson, Jones, Wathen, Sylk. Goals: Foster 3, Jones.


Kenneth Walker; Adrian Thomas, Steve Miller, Kevin Thomas, Andrew Simpson; Fabion Turner, Michael Pearson; Mohnejo Thompson, Akeem Murray, Khamisi McKain, Ryan Grant, Chawn Henry, Chevaughn Bailey. Substitutes: Kile Nembhard, Roland Grey, Jenson Morris, Antonio Baker

Tries: Grant 2, Walker, Thomas, Morris. Goals: Thompson 2, Bailey.

Halftime: 18-14.

USA 10 vs. Jamaica 16

USA 10 vs. Jamaica 16


Jamaica made history with their first-ever win over USA, 16-10, bringing them the 2018 Americas Championship and automatic qualification for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup in England, the eleventh nation to book their place.

The Reggae Warriors’ heroic, stoic, goal line defence – particularly in a scoreless second half – saw them become the inaugural Caribbean nation to make a World Cup, sparking wild celebrations as the final whistle went at the Hodges Stadium, University of North Florida, Jacksonville. He sprang a surprise by playing Leeds Rhinos full back Ashton Golding at hooker from the start and although Golding suffered a neck injury during the second half, bravely playing on, his running and distribution out of dummy half was key. Magnificently supported by the tireless plunges of Lamont Bryan, backed up by Ross Peltier, midfield guile of Joel Farrell and threat of Ben Jones-Bishop from the back, the visitors were 16 points up after half an hour and look set for victory.

But two tries in four minutes at the end of the opening period brought the home crowd to their feet, the second half becoming a monumental slug-fest, ended only when Ryan Burrows was held out by the swarming Jamaican cover defence on a power play in the 79th minute.

Jamaica found touch from the initial kick off, Jy-Mel Coleman’s kicking excellent throughout, and made the most of three penalties in the opening ten minutes. Coleman kicked one after Haveatama Luani had gone high, Cory Makelim producing a superb tackle to deny Aaron Jones-Bishop after a Keenan Tomlinson ball steal. Another late shot by Luani saw Coleman double the lead and, on the back of a double penalty after dissent, on a last tackle play, Golding shot out of dummy half and James Woodburn-Hall, called into the side for Danny Thomas, slipped the ball in to Farrell who went over; Coleman adding the extras.

The Hawks sent the re-start out on the full, Coleman missing the penalty from half way and on their first concerted attack, Luani’s grubber forced a drop out.

Skipper Mark Offerdahl, as he did throughout sucked the defence in, but Jerome Veve’s kick was too long and, with the pressure released, Farrell and Peltier made significant ground on the back of another penalty, Farrell’s pass out wide along the ground gathered by Jacob Ogden, a late call up, and he grounded in the corner. Coleman converted from the touch line, but few would have thought that would be the end of the Jamaican scoring.

Farrell again prompted but his grubber to the in goal was long and USA finished the opening forty on top. Bureta Faraimo’s last tackle kick ricocheted back to him and he fed Connor Donehue who twisted over through two tackles, Faraimo converting.

Danny Howard then sent Makelim through a gap, Offerdahl charged and, on the last tackle, Luani’s kick was fed on to Burroughs who stepped over in the corner, Faraimo’s conversion attempt hitting a post. Makelim has held up over the line at the start of the second period and Mo Agoro was stopped a metre out in response. Luani’s swinging arm brought another penalty but Coleman was wide with the shot at goal, Luani forcing a drop out from which Donehue was just denied when going solo.

Golding’s offload teased Ben Jones-Bishop into space, Woodburn-Hall forcing a drop out, Chris Wiggins releasing the pressure as the tension mounted.

David Washington’s runs were increasingly telling and a Luani chip just went over the winger’s fingers. With seven minutes remaining, Coleman had a field goal attempt blocked, Burroughs knocked on and the ball was shipped to Ogden who was superbly bundled into touch by Jamil Robinson, who made a huge impact for the Hawks off the bench. In the closing stages, Jamaica were caught accidently offside from a kick in their own quarter, Kristian Freed knocking on, Bryan doing likewise as fatigue set in to give Jamaica a final set to defend.

Offerdahl and Faraimo powered forward and, on the last, Donehue tried to get Burrows over out wide but the green wall stood firm.

USA 10
Cory Makelim, Ryan Burroughs, Brandon Anderson, Bureta Faraimo, David Washington, Danny Howard, Connor Donehue, Mark Offerdahl, Kristian Freed, Andrew Kneisly, Joe Eichner, Jerome Veve, Haveatama Luani. Substitutes: Jamil Robinson, Nick Newlin, Kyle Denham, Chris Wiggins

Tries: Donehue (35), Burroughs (38), Goal: Faraimo 1/2

Ashton Golding, Aaron Jones-Bishop, Ben Jones-Bishop, Joseph Brown, Alex Brown, James Woodburn-Hall, Jy-Mel Coleman, Jonathan Magrin, Lamont Bryan, Omari Caro, Mo Agoro, Joel Farrell, Keenen Tomlinson. Substitutes: Renaldo Wade, Ross Peltier, Jacob Ogden Khamisi McKain

Tries: Farrell (21), Ogden (29) Goals: Coleman 4/6

Referee: Ben Thaler (England)
Half time: 10-16

MVP JAMAICA – Ashton Golding

USA 62 - Chile 0

USA 62 - Chile 0

Rugby League World Cup Qualifiers Game 1, 2018

Playing at home in front of enthusiastic fans, the Hawks beat the Weichafes 62-0 on a wet and miserable Tuesday night at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. Apart from the opening seven or eight minutes when the South Americans retained the ball, the home team dominated possession and territory and made every post a winner. The US led comfortably 34-0 at halftime. The severe weather conditions caused scrappy play by both teams with numerous dropped balls. However, as has been the case in previous qualifying series, the USA’s pack controlled their opposing numbers and set the tone of the game. Test debutant Brandon Anderson scored four tries to spearhead the American point-scoring avalanche.

Captain Mark Offerdahl scored two tries, an effort that earned him the reward of an early night. Also scoring were backs Ryan Burroughs with four tries and Bureta Faraimo with two, while backrower Danny Howard also got on the board with a single. Hawks head coach Sean Rutgerson says in the early stages the Americans weren’t sure what to expect from their opposition, but not long into proceedings they realized they were up against a team that was new to this level.

Venue: Hodges Field, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL: 4th December 2015.

USA Hawks (62) Tries: Ryan Burroughs x 4, Brandon Anderson x 4, Bureta Faraimo x 2, Mark Offerdahl x 2, Danny Howard Goals: Bureta Faraimo x 4, Joel Luani x 1. Chile (0)

USA Hawks: Corey Makelim, Ryan Burroughs, Brandon Anderson, Bureta Faraimo, David Washington  Kristian Freed. Conor Donehue, Mark Offerdahl ©, Danny Howard, Andrew Kneisly, Joe Eichner, Jerome Veve, Joel Luani. Interchange: Nick Newlin, Jamil Robinson, Chris Frazier, Chris Wiggins.

Coach: Sean Rutgerson


USA 0 vs. PNG 64

USA 0 vs. PNG 64

Rugby League World Cup 2017

A first-half double to Kumuls debutant, Lachlan Lam, has inspired Papua New Guinea to a record 64-0 victory over the USA at Port Moresby Stadium.

Papua New Guinea posted their highest ever World Cup total, scoring at almost a point a minute in the opening half as their blistering attack terrorised the United State’s defence, busting through the line on 13 separate occasions.

Kumuls second rower Rhyse Martin stared, as he slotted 10 from 11 conversions despite strong winds to ensure Papua New Guinea progress out of the group stages undefeated.

The win sets up a date with England for a place in the Quarter-Finals next week.

The win did come at cost for Papua New Guinea however, as Garry Lo was taken from the field early in the second half after injuring his ankle in a tackle. 

With the wind at their back, USA kicked off to get the game underway and attempted to end the Papua New Guinean’s three game winning streak.

But after surviving an early onslaught from the Kumuls, the USA couldn’t hold them out for long as James Segeyaro put Lachlan Lam over for a try in his opening appearance for Papua New Guinea.

Segeyaro threw a dummy and broke through the Hawks line before drawing the fullback and offloading to Lam who pumped his fist in joy before putting the ball down and running in to celebrate with the crowd.

With the floodgates now open, Papua New Guinea started to apply the heat to the Americans who conceded two tries in two plays.

After a simple backline move, winger Justin Olam found himself with enough space on the flanks to crash over giving PNG a 10-0 lead in just 12 minutes.

The Kumuls then scored off the kick off when Moses Meninga made the initial line-break before offloading to James Segeyaro who streaked away to score under the posts.

PNG ran in three more tries before the half-time siren blew, including Lam’s second of the day as the USA headed into the sheds trailing 34-0.

Unfortunately for the Hawks, the Kumuls picked up where they left off in the first half taking only two minutes to find the try line.

Tries to Watson Boas, Nene Macdonald, and a hat-trick to Justin Olam, all inflated the Kumuls lead with Rhyse Martin having an exceptional day with the boot, slotting every conversion in the second half.

USA got close to points in the 73rd minute when fullback, Corey Makelim, looked certain to score before David Mead produced an amazing try-saving tackle to deny the USA of points.

The win means Papua New Guinea progress out of the group stages undefeated to face England next week.

As for the USA, their World Cup journey comes to an end as they will no doubt look forward to relaxing after PNG walked off the field triumphant, 64-0.

USA Hawks: Corey Makelim, Ryan Burroughs, Junior Vaivai, Bureta Faraimo, Kristian Freed, Tui Samoa, Eddy Pettybourne, David Marando, Mark Offerdahl (c), Danny Howard, Steve Howard, Joe Eichner, Josh Rice, Sam Tochterman, David Ulch, Martwain Johnson

USA 0 vs Italy 46

USA 0 vs Italy 46

Rugby League World Cup 2017

James Tedesco’s switch into the halves helped Italy get their Rugby League World Cup journey back on track with a comprehensive 46-0 shutout of the United States at Townsville Stadium on Sunday.

With Terry Campese a late withdrawal for the second consecutive week and Jack Johns sustaining a broken arm in the opening loss to Ireland, Italy coach Cameron Ciraldo had little option but to move the star fullback to No. 6 and in doing so Tedesco had more time with the ball in his hands.

The switch paid lucrative dividends for Italy with Tedesco taking control of the result by scoring two tries and putting in a handy performance to lead the Azzurri to a comfortable victory which will provide a vital dose of confidence heading into next Friday’s must win clash with Fiji in Canberra.

U.S.A coach Brian McDermott would have known that if his side were to match it against Italy, they had to make the most of every chance they had but simple errors in the opening 40 minutes proved costly and allowed Italy to take a commanding 28-0 lead at halftime.

The tone for the match was set when Joe Tramontana scored in just the seventh minute from a kick to winger Josh Mantellato.

Italy’s best attacking option in last week’s loss to Ireland was to kick towards the towering Mantellato and in their first offensive play of the match, they looked to him again with immediate dividends.

Leading 6-0, Italy began to look increasingly dangerous and it wasn’t long before the class of Tedesco cut through.

A nifty right-foot step close to the Hawks’ line in the 14th minute fooled the defenders and allowed Italy to shoot out to a 12-0 lead.

Both sides made a number of errors throughout the first half, but it was Italy who made the most of the gifted time in possession.

Mantellato eventually scored in the 20th minute before providing a try-assist to Ryan Ghietti just moments later, who scored via a stylish short-side move down the left edge.

An exciting chip-and-chase just before halftime looked like USA would be away for their first try, but a second kick was charged down and allowed Italy to press downfield, resulting in Joe Tramontana’s second try.

Tries to Tedesco, Paul Vaughn and Mason Cerruto in the second half ensured the gap was put well-beyond the Hawks’ grasp and the victory would be one that would restore Italy’s hopes of progressing into the quarter-finals.

USA Hawks: Corey Makelim, Ryan Burroughs, Junior Vaivai, Bureta Faraimo, Kristian Freed, Tui Samoa, Eddy Pettybourne, David Marando, Mark Offerdahl (c), Danny Howard, Matt Shipway, Nicholas Newlin, CJ Cortalano, Gabe Farley, Sam Tochterman, Hiko Malu, David Ulch

USA 12 vs. Fiji 58

USA 12 vs. Fiji 58

Rugby League World Cup 2017

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Jarryd Hayne equaled the Rugby League World Cup all-time try-scoring record as he inspired Fiji to a resounding 58-12 victory over the USA in Townsville on Saturday night.

Hayne was instrumental in Fiji’s win, having a hand in most of the Bati’s 11 tries and leading the way in both attack and defence. His 46th minute try took the star five-eighth try scoring tally in three World Cups with Fiji and Australia to 13, equalling the record held by the legendary Bob Fulton since 1975. Hayne’s 13 tries include nine for Australia and four for Fiji.

Captain Kevin Naiqama, winger Suliasi Vunivalu and centre Taane Milne each scored two tries, while secondrower Viliame Kikau, centre Akuila Uate, prop Kane Evans and halfback Henry Raiwalui also crossed for the Bati.

The only downside to the big win was a broken wrist suffered by Evans when he crashed over for his 18th minute try.

Tears flowed as the Fiji contingent sung their national anthem with immense pride before linking arm-in-arm for a moving pre-game prayer. 

Shortly after the kick-off to start the game, Fiji wasted no time in going on the attack and looking for points.

It took just two minutes for Fiji to cross the USA’s try-line after Vunivalu managed to get an offload away under pressure, finding Milne who crossed in the corner.

With an extra zip in their step, Fiji started moving the ball with ease as the USA struggled to keep up with their opposition.

And within 20 minutes of the opening stanza Fiji had scored at more than a point a minute, running in five tries as the shell-shocked USA finally got their hands on the ball. With their first attacking chance of the game, the USA made the most of their opportunity through second-rower Matt Shipway. The talented back-rower showed great footwork to beat multiple Fiji defenders before slamming the ball down for an important four-pointer.

Despite being behind 26-6 after just 21 minutes of play, the USA showed plenty of heart and effort in trying to contain the ruthless Fiji attack. But the skill and speed of the Fijian side was too much as Fiji crossed for another two tries, building a 38-6 lead as the half-time siren sounded. Returning to the field for the second half, the USA had a monumental task ahead of them to limit Fiji’s attacking opportunities and claw back the deficit. But as he had done the whole game, Hayne terrorised the USA defence and despite having a hand in almost all of Fiji’s tries, the Gold Coast Titan finally dotted down for his own four-pointer.

Following a Uate line-break deep in his own half, Hayne was right next to him in support to score right under the posts for his second of the night. With the scores then 44-6 with most of the second half still yet to play, things were looking very ugly for the USA. But a try in the 71st minute to Junior Vaivai gave the visitors something to cheer about as Fiji cruised home to their comfortable 58-12 victory.

USA Hawks: Corey Makelim, Ryan Burroughs, Junior Vaivai, Taylor Alley, Bureta Faraimo, Kristian Freed, Tui Samoa, Eddy Pettybourne, David Marando, Mark Offerdahl (c), Danny Howard, Matt Shipway, Nicholas Newlin, Andrew Kneisly, Steve Howard, Joe Eichner, Josh Rice

USA 36 vs. Canada 18

USA 36 vs. Canada 18

Rugby League Americas Championship 2017

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The USA Hawks have warmed up for next month’s Rugby League World Cup by winning the 2017 Americas Championship series.

The US beat Canada 36-18 Saturday night in Toronto. Canada opened proceedings like a sprinter out of the starting blocks to get on the board first, but the USA recovered from the initial setback and were never threatened from that point on.

The Hawks answered the Wolverines’ early strike with two quick tries to get out to a 10-6 lead within the opening quarter of the game. The Hawks increased the margin with their third converted score to make it a 16-6 ballgame late in the first half.

The home team was making life difficult for itself by lacking patience on offense and not maintaining possession. Completing sets was a problem.

The half ended without any further additions to the scoreboard, but the second stanza opened with the Americans making yards on almost every carry, putting the Canadian defense under heavy pressure from the get go.

That concentrated pressure saw the Wolverines’ defense crack early as the US went in for their fourth try and a 20-6 lead. Three minutes later and the Hawks dotted down for the fifth time in the game to extend their lead to 24-6 and at that point things began to look very ominous for the home side. Midway through the second half and the visitors from south of the border had a firm grip on the championship trophy, while Canada was staring down the barrel of a third straight defeat in a month.

The Wolverines looked to be turning the tables and threatened to add to their score following a solid build-up of their own pressure, but despite mounting several waves of attack from inside the Hawks’ red zone, they couldn’t penetrate the Americans’ defensive patterns.

Canada looked to have scored when halfback darted through a couple of defenders from close range, but spilled the ball over the line.

From the ensuing scrum, the US ran the ball to the other end of the field where they finished off a long passing movement that went from one side to the other to score under the posts. With the successful conversion and with time ticking away, the USA had an unassailable lead of 30-6.

However, the visitors weren’t done yet and their seventh try pushed the buffer out to 36-6.

Then finally, and much to the delight of the Lamport Stadium crowd, Canada’s Jack Couzens scored for the Wolverines close to fulltime to bring a little respectability to the scoreline at 36-12.

And for good measure, the Wolverines scored their third converted try as the final whistle was about to blow for a final score of 36-18. USA tryscorers included Bureta Faraimo (3), Taylor Alley (2), Junior Vaivai and Martwain Johnston, while Vaivai kicked three conversions and Faraimo booted one.

“I am extremely happy with the result,” said Hawks coach Sean Rutgerson. “I thought we defended really well and that our game plan was well executed for the most part. This game has put us in a great position to evaluate our strengths and weaknesses heading into the World Cup and the win is a great morale boost for the team.”

Conversely, it’s back to the drawing board for the Canadians who have two more games coming up against police teams from New Zealand and Britain.

“When we’re under pressure we tend to move away from our game plan and we’ve probably got to have an honest discussion with the senior player group about that,” Canada head coach Ben Fleming said after the match.

Wolverines captain Eddie Bilborough said matches against the USA are always intense and this one was no different. “We got a good early jump, but they just kept coming at us,” he said. “They got to the World Cup for a reason in 2017 and they showed us why tonight.”


USA Hawks defeat Canada Wolverines 36-18 to win the 2017 Colonial Cup and Rugby League Americas Championship. Try scorers for the USA are Bureta Faraimo (3), Taylor Alley (2), Junior Vaivai (1) and Martwain Johnson (1). Goals: Junior Vaivai (3), Bureta Faraimo (1).

Halftime USA 16 Canada 6.
MVP Junz Vaivai.

USA 48 vs. Jamaica 6

USA 48 vs. Jamaica 6

Rugby League America's Championship, 2017

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The USA Hawks, routed the Jamaica Reggae Warriors with a decisive 48-6 win Saturday in Jacksonville, FL, USA. This was the first of the three-game Rugby League Americas Championship Series.

Heavy rain and the threat of severe lightning strikes delayed the start of the match in Jacksonville, FL, but it didn’t stop the Hawks from putting on a point-scoring display in front of a parochial home crowd at the University of North Florida’s Hodges Stadium.

USA starts the scoring through VaiVai

Junz ‘Junior’ Vaivai playing in his fourth appearance for the Hawks and one of the stars of the match opened the scoring within the first couple of minutes with a nicely worked try that he converted to put the Hawks up 6-0. Vaivai went on to score a hat-trick on the day and was perfect with the boot converting 8 from 8 goals bringing his personal tally to 28pts.

Captain and lock Nick Newlin repeated the dose just a short time later after the USA forwards had worked the ball towards the Jamaican line. The try was converted by Vaivai to see the home team skip out to a 12-0 lead within the first ten minutes of play.

The rain kept falling in North Florida, but the game went on and the Reggae Warriors managed to peg one back when Adrian Hall scored out wide down the lefthand side of the field after some good lead up work. The conversion was successful to bring the scoreline back to 12-6 and it looked like it could be game on.

Upon kick-off Jamaica immediately turned the ball over handing possession back to the Hawks followed by a series of penalties given away by the visitors that resulted in fullback Gabe Farley crashing over the line with several defenders hanging on. The referee awarded the try, again converted by Vaivai, and the Hawks went to the halftime break with an 18-6 cushion.

The second stanza began in much the same way as the first 40 had ended with another USA try. This time replacement Chris Frazier latched onto the ball and finished off a movement by dotting down. Junior Vaivai was spot on with the points after and the home team now led 24-6. The Hawks were relentless and kept pouring on the pressure and though try as they might, the Jamaicans could not stem the tide.

By now the rain had let up, but the were keen to put Jamaica to the sword and within minutes of the previous score, winger John St John went in for the USA’s fifth try, again converted by goal-kicking whiz Vaivai, to give the Hawks what then appeared to be an unassailable 30-6 lead.

Inside the final quarter of the match, Vaivai grabbed his second try of the day, which he converted, to increase the USA’s lead to 36-6. Not long afterwards, the unstoppable Vaivai notched a hat-trick with his third four-pointer of the evening, which he comfortably converted, that shot the US out to a 42-6 lead with just two minutes remaining in the contest.

Center Taylor Alley then capped off the American scoring avalanche with a try out wide to the right, converted by Vaivai, who was perfect on the evening, to give the Hawks a final 48-6 victory.

USA domestic coach Sean Rutgerson spoke about the performance after the game. “Overall I was quite happy but we still have a lot of work to do. It’s been 9 months since a number of the boys played at an international level so I was expecting a few cobwebs in the beginning. Conditions were not ideal and forced an unusual amount of turnovers but once we got going into the second half, things ran a bit smoother. Defensively we had one or two errors but overall the team had good line speed and managed to keep Jamaica limited to one score.”

Rutgerson continued, “Kristin Freed, Josh Rice, Hiko Malu, Junior VaiVai all put in strong performances helping their selection chances for the upcoming Rugby League World Cup. A number of players still need to take their game to the next level and we’ll be looking ahead to the North vs South clash in Tampa followed by USA vs Canada in Toronto using both these games as performance indicators.”

USA Captain Nick Newlin also saw room for improvement, “We battled in the conditions for the first 15-20 minutes offensively and put a little pressure on ourselves but we were happy to come away with 18 points at halftime. Our defense was superb as we pressured them, forced errors and played well as a team picking each other up and always having 3-4 in a tackle. It’s a decent way to start the 2017 campaign and I know the guys are excited for September to play Canada in Toronto in what’s expected to be a much more competitive game playing in front of a capacity crowd."  USA Hawks:

Tries (8): Junior Vaivai x 3 (#4), Taylor Alley x1 (#4), Nick Newlin (#13), Jon St John (#5), Gabe Farley (#1), Chris Frazier (#17) Goals (8): Junior Vaivai x8

Jamaica Reggae Warriors:
Tries (1): Renaldo Wade (#5) Goals (1): Kareem Harris x1

USA 20 vs. Canada 14

USA 20 vs. Canada 14

Colonial Cup Game 2, 2016

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On Saturday Oct 1, in a rain drenched Wilmington, Delaware the final and deciding round of the Colonial Cup was played out in less than desirable conditions. The Hawks, eager to continue their winning ways in the lead up to their 2017 World Cup appearance were slow starters against a Canadian team fired up from recent losses and ready to defend the trophy they have held since 2014.

Just as they had in last weekend’s Americas Championship, Canada took the lead early at Eden Park. Wolverines Captain, Matt Wyles crossed the line in the 16th minute, with Joel O’Niell’s successful conversion taking Canada to an early 6 – 0 lead.  USA would fight back to level the scores only minutes later, as the number 7 Rich Henson cut through defenders to find the line. Following the successful conversion by Junior Vaivai both teams tried to piece together some decent plays in the wet conditions.  In the dying moments of the half the Hawks were the next to strike. Taking advantage of a napping defensive line created by a break in play, Hawks forward Casey Clark put his head down and ran straight through a poor tackle to score right under the posts. This would ultimately lead to the Hawks leading the Wolverines 12 – 6 at the break.  

As the 2nd half got underway it quickly became apparent the ‘arm-wrestle’ was far from over. Hawks took full advantage of a penalty in the 60th minute with Junior Vaivai, extending the Hawks lead to 8 points. In familiar fashion, the Wolverines were the next to rally, crossing the line only minutes later off the back of a cross field kick by Captain Matt Wyles. The quick thinking combination of Kevin Gurniak and Jon Cregg saw the ball battered back in, with the Centre Cregg crossing to keep the game within reach. 

Unfortunately, Canada’s kicking game again faulted as miserable conditions continued to hamper both sides. Canada’s Christian Miller helped set up and then score the Wolverines’ next points with an individual run and completion on the next play. Matt Wyles assumed kicking duties for the conversion however failed to collect the additional points. 

With the game tied at 14 all, Canada could smell victory. However, the USA’s talented Junior Vaivai had other plans. With only 2 minutes remaining a loose carry from the Canadians would break hearts as the number 7 sprinted 80 meters to secure a USA victory and the 2016 Colonial Cup series.  Canada tried a short kick off in the last moments of the game but it failed and ended up with Wolverines Captain Matt Wyles finishing the game in the sin bin after descent towards the referee. 

Jamie Lester, Wolverines Coach respectively congratulated the USA Hawks on a series of very competitive matchups. “Unfortunately for us the USA has managed to get across the line when it counts to clinch both games. Credit to them for playing until the 80th minute.” For his Canadian side, there was still positives to take away from the match as Canada looks to expand its depth across the vast country. “We need to learn from these experiences and grow for the future."

Venue: Eden Park, Wilmington, DE: 1st October 2016

USA Hawks 20 Tries: Rich Henson (20), Casey Clark (35), Junior Vaivai (79); Goals: Junior Vaivai 4/4 

MVP: Joe Eichner

Match Official: Bruce Wedderburn

USA Hawks: Roman Lowrey, Mike Timpano, Tyler Ierardi, Gabe Farley, Jon St John, Junior Vaivai, Rich Henson, Andrew Kneisly, CJ Cortalano, Nick Newlin, Casey Clark, Joe Eichner, Jon Purnell. Interchange: Bart Longchamp, Jared Moyer, Zach Reichenbach, Craig MacKenzie. Coach: Dustin Cooper.



USA 14 vs. Canada 8

USA 14 vs. Canada 8

Rugby League Americas Championship Game 3 & Colonial Cup Game 1, 2016

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The Canada Wolverines were playing their first home test match vs USA in 2 years and there was plenty on the line. After both Nations had scored victories over Jamaica, the inaugural Americas Championship trophy would go to the winner of this huge game. Not only was this at stake but first points advantage for the Colonial Cup in 2016 would come from this game. This was going to be a massive game for the fans as all the players come out intent on winning the trophy.

As in all important games like this, the defensive work by both teams was very tough for the first ten minutes, but there were some opportunities opened up by strong Wolverine forward Joel Hulett who made a number of half breaks but lacked support to finish off these opportunities.

After 13 minutes, Akarika Dawn for Canada took it upon himself to test the USA defense close to the tryline and powered over for a try to open the scoring. Steve Piatek missed the conversion but Canada had the early points.

Through various reasons, including a poor short kicking game, the second 20 minutes of the first half saw Canada tackling for most of this period. USA had plenty of ball and tested the Wolverines defence but it never cracked and the rest of the first half remained scoreless. While Canada were happy to walk into the sheds at half time in front, there was plenty of energy burnt from all the tackling and the missed opportunities could come back to haunt them.

USA former NRL player Junior Vaivai was guiding the USA Hawks around the field and was always a danger man for the Wolverines.

Canada came out on fire in the second half and were throwing everything at the Hawks, but they remained patient and stopped any tries being scored until the 64th minute when robust Wolverine Prop Alex Boyd raced 40 meters towards the tryline after picking up the ball from a charge down and then being tackled ten meters out. Canada quickly threw the ball out wide for Kevin Gurniak to score a try in the corner. Steve Piatek missed the conversion from the corner, so Canada had to be happy with the 8-0 lead.

With only 15 minutes remaining, this was going to be interesting and we didn't have to wait long for the Hawks to hit back. A pass that went out the back was scooped up by Hawks full back Roman Lowrey, who outpaced the opposition to score in the corner after 68 minutes. The conversion was missed, but you could see this gave the USA a huge boost and with only 5 minutes left on the clock a quick passing movement saw Hawks center Gabe Farley race over for a try.

With the scores locked at 8-8, the conversion was missed again so the scores remained locked. Officials were racing around to see what happened with the trophy if the scores were locked up at full time, but there was no need for that discussion as USA Hawks speedster Jon St John raced away from the Wolverines defense to score with just over a minute still on the clock.

Junior Vaivai converted to bring the final score to 14-8 in favour of the Hawks.

Venue: Lamport Stadium, Toronto, ON, Canada: 24th September 2016.

USA Hawks 14 Tries: Roman Lowrey (68), Gabe Farley (75), Jon St John (79); Goals: Junior Vaivai 1/3 

MVP: Junior Vaivai

Match Official: Rickii Monk

USA Hawks: Roman Lowrey, Taylor Howden, Taylor Alley, Gabriel Farley, Jon St John, Junior Vaivai, Matt Walsh, Andrew Kneisly, CJ Cortalano, Nick Newlin, Casey Clark, Bart Longchamp, Jon Purnell. Interchange: Josh Rice, Rich Henson, Joe Eichner, Craig MacKenzie. Coach: Dustin Cooper


USA 54 vs. Jamaica 4

USA 54 vs. Jamaica 4

Rugby League Americas Championship Game 2, 2016

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The USARL Hawks routed the Jamaica Reggae Warriors with a decisive 54-4 win Saturday in Philadelphia, PA, USA. This was the second of the three-game Rugby League Americas Championship Series.

The USARL Hawks started the scoring early in the game, Taylor Alley scoring a try in the first ten minutes of the contest.  Mike Timpano missed the conversion, leaving the score at USA 4 – Jamaica 0.  Just past the ten minute mark Timpano makes up for missing the conversion by scoring a try of his own.  Though he missed the conversion attempt, the Hawks nonetheless extended their advantage over the Reggae Warriors to eight points.

At the midway point of the first half, Junior Vaivai scored a try, and successfully kicked the conversion, giving the USARL Hawks a 14-0 lead over the Jamaica Reggae Warriors.  With eight minutes left in the first half, Taylor Alley scored his second try.  With Mike Timpano’s successful conversion kick, the USA took a 20-0 lead over Jamaica.  The Hawks would take this lead with them into halftime, keeping the Reggae Warriors out of the try zone during the first 40 minutes of the game.

Just a few minutes into the second half, the USARL Hawks committed a penalty, allowing the Jamaica Reggae Warriors the option to kick for points or for field position.  Jamaica opted to try for the two points, but missed the kick, leaving the score at USA 20, Jamaica 0.  The Hawks scored an unconverted try eight minutes into the second half to extend their advantage to 24.  The USA soon responded with yet another try from Gabe Farley.  Following the successful conversion kick by Mike Timpano, the Hawks built their lead over the Jamaica Reggae Warriors to 30-0.

USARL Hawks Captain Nick Newlin (Atlanta Rhinos) scored his first try of the game before the midpoint of the second half.  After the conversion kick by Mike Timpano, the USA took a 36-0 lead over Jamaica.  However, the Reggae Warriors’ Ronaldo Wade finally scored an unconverted try for Jamaica with 20 minutes left in the game.  This put the Reggae Warriors’ first (and only) points on the board, ever so slightly closing the Hawks advantage to 36-4.

After Jamaica’s try, the Hawks dominated the rest of the matchup.  The USA’s Timpano scored a try and a conversion with 13 minutes left in the game to bring the score to 42-4. Barthlemey Longchamp (Jacksonville Axemen) punched in another try with seven minutes left.  After yet another successful conversion kick off the foot of Timpano, the Hawks led the Reggae Warriors 48-4. 

With just two minutes left in the game, the Hawks struck once more, with CJ Cortalano scoring the contest’s final try.  After Timpano’s successful conversion kick, the Hawks took a 54-4 lead, which was also the final score of the game.

The last game in the three game Rugby League Americas Championship Series, the Canada Wolverines vs. the USARL Hawks, will take place on 24 September in Toronto, ON, Canada.  With large losses to both the Wolverines and the Hawks, Jamaica now heads home with only six points in the tournament.  The winner of the Canada vs. USA matchup will clinch the 2016 Rugby League Americas Championship.

Venue: A.A. Garthwaite Stadium, Philadelphia, PA: 23rd July 2016.

USA Hawks 54 Tries: Taylor Alley (5, 32, 48), Mike Timpano (11, 67), Junior Vaivai (20), Gabe Farley (50), Nick Newlin (59), Bart Longchamp (73), CJ Cortalano (78); Goals: Mike Timpano 6/9, Junior Vaivai 1/1 

MVP: First/Last Name

Match Official: Alan Chmielewski

USA Hawks: Rich Mizell, Mike Timpano, Gabe Farley, Taylor Alley, Roman Lowrey, Junior Vaivai, Matt Walsh, Nick Newlin, CJ Cortalano, Andrew Kneisly, Casey Clark, Luke Barron, Jon Purnell. Interchange: Bart Longchamp, Josh Rice, Joe Eichner, Jared Frymoyer. Coach: Robin Peers


USA 34 vs. Canada 24

USA 34 vs. Canada 24

Rugby League World Cup Qualifiers Game 3, 2015

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Three tries from Danny Howard and another superb performance by skipper Mark Offerdahl saw the USA become the eleventh nation to qualify for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, after they beat Canada 34-24 in a wonderful winner-takes-all clash against Canada at the Hodges Stadium, Jacksonville, Florida.

The Hawks qualify for their second successive World Cup, after making the quarter finals in 2013, new head coach for the qualifying series, Brian McDermott, ending a sensational season with a further triumph, having taken Leeds Rhinos to a domestic treble.

McDermott switched Los Angeles-born Danny Howard to the second row from centre, where he had played in the narrow win over Jamaica in game one, to team up with brother Steve and it proved to be a masterstroke, as did moving Ryan Burroughs to full back when Corey Makelim was sent off for dissent just after the half hour. Burrough’s superb linking runs from the back continually pushed Canada back after they threatened to create history by reaching the World Cup for the first time, the Wolverines leading 18-14 at the break, although eventually beaten by eight tries to four.

Hooker Ryley Jacks, who persisted despite injury and also crossed for three tries, and his brother stand off Rhys - along with ‘the Sheriff’ Jamie Kelly - were superb for the visitors, who were looking for their fourth successive win over the Hawks. But, late on, when chasing the win they needed after drawing with Jamaica, Canada were undone when forcing passes that didn’t go to hand.

“The performance was right up there in terms of courage and determination,” said McDermott. “It wasn’t the flashest performance ever, there were one or two things we needed to be better at, but after having a man sent off at the back end of the first half to then get over a very competitive Canada just shows how much determination and desire the players had. I’m immensely proud, we qualified for the World Cup which was the first objective but it’s been a really enjoyable camp for the last two weeks and the players have given absolutely everything.

“Canada are a good team and we were worried at 18-all. They’ve already beaten America twice this year and we were under no illusions how good they were going to be. The whole second half was a real worrying time and they deserve a lot of credit as well.”

In 25 degree temperatures, the first half followed the pattern of the first two qualifiers, with plenty of endeavour on defence, some spilled ball due to over-eagerness and penalties given away at the play-the-ball.

As they had against Jamaica, USA started strongly to take an early lead; Taylor Alley stepping over at the end of the first set of the game, a repeat one, and Taylor Howden – who posed a threat throughout – crossing on the left inside the opening nine minutes, both conversion attempts missed.

Canada hit back well, Rhys Jacks and Steve Piatek combing to put Kelly over, Piatek goaling and the same combination looked to have worked again soon after but the final pass was ruled forward.

The Wolverines did take the lead in controversial fashion in the 32nd minute, Ryley Jacks burrowing over from close in despite Makelim’s protestations that he had got under the ball which resulted in him being marched from the field by official Robert Hicks. Piatek goaled and the visitors led, but only briefly, Burroughs making a surging run from the back and Danny Howard ploughing over, Howden – one of four kickers used by the Hawks – with the only successful home conversion to make it 14-12.

There was still a sting in the tail to end the half, on the final play, a beautiful chip over by Rhys Jacks bamboozled the home defence, Ryley running on to it to step Burroughs and go over by the posts, Piatek with the extras.

Again the USA began a half strongly when the teams re-emerged, Howden powering over in the corner on a last tackle powerplay after the ball had been switched expertly from left to right, to level. Steve Howard was held up and Rhys Jacks broke clear in response but his pass only found touch, Kristian Freed then kicking a 40-20 from which Central Florida Warrior Alley bustled his was over for his second score. Offerdahl made a clearing run but the Canadian defence held but they couldn’t halt Burroughs on a 50 metre charge which set the position for Howard’s second try out wide.

As Canada seemed to tire, Burroughs crossed in the 63rd minute but again the goal was missed that would have given the Hawks a three score lead. The Wolverines regathered their own short kick off and Ryley Jacks again made them pay from close in, Piatek’s goal from in front making it 30-24.Alex Boyd was held up as the Canadians looked to level and Roman Lowery diffused a Rhys Jacks kick to the corner as the 12-man Hawks were stretched.

Canada tried a chip over but Rich Henson cleaned up and Burroughs dropped a high kick on the last, but again the USA defence held when the final pass out wide went into touch. With the last minute approaching, Danny Howard went on a run up the left hand side and forced his way over for the celebrations to begin. Offerdahl took the final conversion attempt from touch, but the ball drifted wide.

“That was the toughest game I’ve ever played,” he said. “To play 50 minutes with 12 men, it was a ridiculous effort from the boys. If we could kick goals it might have been a little bit easier for us! I’m so proud of them, I’ve never been involved in anything like that and now we’ve got 2017 to plan for.

London Bronco Offerdahl added: “I put the victory down to the work we’ve done in the week and the game-plan we had. At times we went away from it and that’s when we started to concede points but when we went back to it everything worked out. We had to dig in - there were forwards playing more minutes than they are used to and wingers having 20 or so scoots for the game.”

Understandably, with what was at stake, there were tears from both sides when the hooter went.

Canada coach Aaron Zimmerle commented: “There were periods in the game where it was our opportunity to take control of the match but credit to America they really stood up. “Some of their go-to players were able to pull out the big plays when needed, they capitalized well late when we were trying to force the issue and made an error. But, as this whole tournament has showed, every time we're down and out, we find a way to claw back into the game.”

Canada co-captain Piatek noted: “I would like to congratulate the USA for their victory. We worked very hard and to even be involved in the World Cup qualifiers themselves was a sign of how far we have come. We have four years now to take the sport in Canada to new levels and we’ll be ready to try to qualify again.”

Venue: Hodges Field, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL: 12th December 2015.

USA Hawks 34 Tries: Taylor Alley (2, 53), Taylor Howden (9, 44), Danny Howard (36, 58, 79), Ryan Burroughs (63); Goals: Kristian Freed 0/2, Taylor Howden 1/4, Matt Walsh 0/1, Mark Offerdahl 0/1 

MVP: Mark Offerdahl

Match Official: Robert Hicks

USA Hawks: Corey Makelim, Taylor Howden, Taylor Alley, Ryan Burroughs, Roman Lowrey, Rich Henson, Matt Walsh, Nick Newlin, Kristian Freed, Mark Offerdahl, Danny Howard, Casey Clark, Steve Howard. Interchange: Jon Purnell, Andrew Kneisly, Sam Carson, Luke Barron. Coach: Brian McDermott


USA 20 vs. Jamaica 14

USA 20 vs. Jamaica 14

Rugby League World Cup Qualifiers Game 1, 2015

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New USA head coach Brian McDermott tasted victory in his first game in charge, as the Hawks held on to defeat Jamaica 20-14 in the opening match of the Firehouse Subs World Cup Qualifiers – Americas, in Jacksonville , Florida. An extremely strong wind throughout made cold conditions even more difficult, the hosts impressive out of dummy half coping with it, while the visitors put down too much ball.

“It was very tough game, a really challenging game,” said McDermott. “The Jamaicans were a group of very big and athletic men that needed to be defended. We toughed it out to get the win, I was really pleased with our commitment to each other.”

The Hawks were best served by Kristian Freed at hooker, while skipper Mark Offendahl was a towering presence. “I’m very happy the boys hung in there,” Offendahl noted. “We made it a bit tough for ourselves with a lot of knock-ons and penalties but, to our credit, we hung in there and got the win. We had a game plan and when we did stick to it we dominated.”

USA got off to a terrific start, posting two tries in quick succession to take a 10-0 lead. Offerdahl powered over for the first in the 10th minute, Freed gaoling and, after the Reggae Warriors had again spilled the ball, Taylor Howden went over from close in. Jamaica dominated possession for the rest of the half, winning eight penalties in a clash of numerous huge collisions and the occasional flare up but, too often, the visitors surrendered the ball in promising positions.

Prop Ross Peltier was a stand out for Jamaica and he sniped over on the half hour, Joel Farrell converting to narrow the gap to four points. Soon after, USA debutant Sam Carson was sinbinned for attacking the legs of a kicker and, as the half ended, Omari Caro followed him to the sidelines after being shown a yellow card for an off the ball incident.

A flurry of tries at the start of the second period saw the game open up. Powerful centre Danny Howard was the first across for the Hawks from another superb short ball from Freed, who goaled, but Jamaica hit back when Farrell picked up a stray pass and scorched to the corner on a 70 metre run, his conversion attempt wide in the wind. Some good hands from the hosts restored their ten point advantage when full back Corey Makelin joined the line to go over in the 49th minute but from there on in it was a USA rear-guard action as the Jamaicans again had most of the ball. Tenacious home defence kept the visitors out until two minutes from time when the ever-industrious Peltier claimed his second score.

“It was a really exciting game and I think the fans would have been really pleased,” said Jamaica head coach Romeo Monteith. “It was competitive until the end and I want to congratulate the USA on their victory. We just need to regroup for Canada. We have a few injuries so hopefully we’ll be able to get them back on the field. “We were pretty tough in defence even though we let in two soft tries, but overall for 80 minutes I think we were really solid, which pleased me a lot. There are areas for us to improve though, we could have shifted the ball better; our strength was at centre and wing. We needed to move the ball a lot earlier.”

Venue: Hodges Field, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL: 4th December 2015.

USA Hawks 20 Tries: Mark Offerdahl (10), Taylor Howden (12), Danny Howard (43), Corey Makelim (54); Goals: Kristian Freed 2/4 

MVP: Mark Offerdahl

Match Official: Robert Hicks

USA Hawks: Corey Makelim, Taylor Howden, Taylor Alley, Danny Howard, Mike Timpano, Rich Henson, Matt Walsh, Steve Howard, Kristian Freed, Mark Offerdahl, Abe Cohen, Casey Clark, John Purnell. Interchange: Jon Purnell, Andrew Kneisly, Sam Carson, Luke Barron. Coach: Brian McDermott


USA 28 vs. Canada 34

USA 28 vs. Canada 34

Colonial Cup Game 2, 2015

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The Canada Wolverines have beaten the USA Hawks 2 - 0 in this year’s Colonial Cup series after displaying a courageous effort in their 34 - 28 victory in Philadelphia on Sunday.

The Wolverines went into the match leading the series 1 - 0 after a similar score in game one of the two-match series, 36 - 28. The 8-point difference meant that the Hawks needed to win game two by at least 9 points to win back the Colonial Cup after Canada won the cup for the first time last year in a one-off game played in Toronto.  

It was the USA Hawks that got off to a better start as a strong head wind and a string of penalties against the Wolverines made it challenging for them to gain good field position. The first points came after 22 minutes when Timpano successfully kicked a penalty for the Hawks. It was not long after when speedy fullback Ryan Burroughs finally cracked the Canadian defensive line with some strong footwork and a clean pair of heels taking him 40 meters for the first try of the match. The successful conversion made it 8 - 0 to the Hawks.

Canada’s first penalty came in the 25th minute which provided them with their best attacking opportunity of the match. Some slick handling created enough space for Eddie Bilborough to go over in the corner. The missed conversion made the score 8 - 4. Minutes later, the Wolverines were at it again with a replay of the first try sent Bilborough in for his second. This time Piatek was successful with the conversion, bringing the score to 10 – 8.

Another penalty in Canada’s favor, again sent them upfield, this time it was Steve Piatek that took advantage of some sliding defense with a sly show and go taking him straight through the USA defense to score under the posts. Piatek converting his own try and Canada now lead 16 - 8.

With half-time quickly approaching, out of nowhere, a USA 3rd tackle kick fell into the arms of USA’s chasing fullback who beat the cover defense to bring the Hawks within two at the halfway mark.

Coming out of the sheds at halftime, the Wolverines took to the field with a 16 - 12 lead.The Wolverines quickly gained the upper hand with some strong hit ups from the forwards supported by great kicking from Steve Piatek that saw the USA Hawks forced into dropping out from under their posts or having to run out from their own line. This pressure finally told when after a good offload from Christian Miller, saw Eddie Bilborough run through a huge gap to score beside the posts. Piatek successful with the conversion again.

The Wolverines extending their lead to 22-12. Billborough’s try was followed a few minutes later when on the back of a strong Alex Boyd run, Wolverines. Captain Matt Wyles caught the Hawks defense napping and went over from dummy half. Piatek again successful with the conversion. Canada 28 USA 12. The USA Hawks were next to score with a try to substitute winger Roman Lowery of a Luke Barron kick. Timpano converted and the Wolverines now lead 28 – 18.

The Wolverines quickly replied when Wamalwa picked up a Matt Wyles offload and scored beside the uprights. Piatek converted and the Wolverines extended their lead to 34 – 18. The game finished with two consolation tries to the USA Hawks, Roman Lowery with the last try as time expired, Mike Timpano converting the first. 

The final score 34-28 and a well-deserved and dominant Game 2 win for the Canada Wolverines. The Wolverines creating history by taking both games in the series and retaining the Colonial Cup trophy for the second year in a row.

Coach Jamie Lester had this to say about the result, “It was extremely pleasing to see the boys come away from quite a bit of adversity in the first half to get the result we wanted. In the past we haven’t been able to sustain that much pressure, so to overcome that and be leading at the break was testament to how far they’ve come. Everybody put their hand up today, I am really proud of what they have achieved.”

Venue: A.A. Garthwaite Stadium, Philadelphia, PA: 18th October 2015.

USA Hawks 28 Tries: Roman Lowery (3), Ryan Burroughs (2); Goals: Mike Timpano 4/6

MVP: First/Last Name

Match Official: Alan Chmielewski

USA Hawks: Ryan Burroughs, Jared Frymoyer, Taylor Alley, Luke Barron, Mike Timpano, Rich Henson, Shain Singleton, Andrew Kneisley, Gareth Walker, Kevin Wiggins, Abe Cohen, Casey Clark, Jon Purnell. Interchange: Terrance Williams, Roman Lowery, Bart Longchamp, Zack Reichenbach. Coach: Peter Illfield


USA 28 vs. Canada 36

USA 28 vs. Canada 36

Colonial Cup Game 1, 2015

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Canada created history in Philadelphia when they defeated USA Hawks 36-28 in the first game of the three-match 2015 Colonial Cup Series.

The Wolverines had never won on neighbouring soil dating back to the first encounter between the two great rivals in 1987.

Canada coach Jamie Lester commented: “I am extremely proud of our performance and not just from the playing 17 but the entire squad that have been challenging each other for the past couple of months.

“It's great to get our first win on US soil but the job is only half done for now. I know that the Hawks were struck by a bit of adversity during the match, losing their captain and playmaker Richie Henson, along with injuries to other key personnel. The Hawks finished the game the stronger and will come back hungrier for the next match. It's really going to test our squad's resilience.”

Canada took an early lead through Alan Lafferty, the Hawks hitting back with tries from centre Taylor Alley and Casey Clark, both goaled by Matt Walsh.

Christian Miller with a touchdown for the visitors and a second conversion from the faultless Steve Piatek levelled matters and the visitors took the lead just before the break with a spectacular try finished by Jonathan Cregg.

Trent Bourke and Enoch Wamalwa extended the Wolverines’ lead, USA full-back Kenny Britt responding before Canada prop Antoine Blanc crashed over for the decisive score.

Alley posted a second try and exciting Ryan Burroughs crossed to set up an exciting finish but the visitors held on.

Venue: A.A. Garthwaite Stadium, Philadelphia, PA: 20th September 2015.

USA Hawks 28 Tries: Taylor Alley (2), Casey Clark, Ryan Burroughs, Kenny Britt; Goals: Matt Walsh 4/5

MVP: First/Last Name

Match Official: Vince Lawson

USA Hawks: Kenny Britt, Rodrigus Ceasar, Ryan Burroughs, Taylor Alley, David Aguilar, Rich Henson, Matt Walsh, Andrew Kneisly, Gareth Walker, Marcos Flegmann, Jon Purnell, Casey Clark, Kevin Wiggins. Interchange: Nick Newlin, Terrance Williams, Curtis Goddard, Abe Cohen. Coach: Peter Illfield


USA Tomahawks

USA Tomahawks

1997 - 2014 (USA National Team)

Formerly known as the USA Tomahawks, the USA is considered to have had a successful 2013 World Cup campaign finishing in the Quarter-Finals. The USA won a warm up against 4th ranked France, defeating them 22–18 in Toulouse making it their best victory to date. Following they played the Cook Islands and Wales within their group, and then an inter-group game against Scotland, beating the Cook Islands 32– 0, Wales 24–16, and losing 22–8 to Scotland. As group winners, USA faced Australia in the quarter-finals, losing 62-0 to be eliminated from the tournament.

  • Canada (52) vs. USA (14) - Toronto, ONT (August 10, 2014)
  • Australia (62) vs. USA (0) - Wrexham, Wales (November 16, 2013)
  • Scotland (22) vs. USA (8) - Eccles, England (November 7, 2013)
  • USA (24) vs. Wales (16) - Wrexham, Wales (November 3, 2013)
  • USA (32) vs. Cook Islands (20) - Bristol, England (October 30, 2013)
  • USA (22) vs. France (18) - Toulouse, France (October 18, 2013)
  • USA (30) vs. Canada (22) - Toronto, ONT (September 28, 2013)
  • USA (28) vs. Canada (20) - Toronto, ONT (September 7, 2013)
  • USA (44) vs. Canada (16) - Philadelphia, PA (August 24, 2013)
  • Canada (36) vs. USA (20) - Toronto, ONT (July 6, 2013)
  • Samoa (34) vs. USA (10) - (June 2, 2013)
  • Queensland Murri (72) vs. USA (18) - (October 26, 2012)
  • USA (36) vs. Canada (14) - (September 22, 2012)
  • USA (28) vs. Canada (24) - (September 8, 2012)
  • Tonga (28) vs. USA (20) - (May 12, 2012)
  • USA (38) vs. Ireland A (20) - (March 18, 2012)
  • USA (40) vs. Jamaica (4) - Camden, NJ (October 23, 2011)
  • USA (40) vs. South Africa (4) - Camden, NJ (October 15, 2011)
  • Canada (18) vs. USA (16) - (September 18, 2011)
  • USA (18) vs. Canada (2) - (August 27, 2011)
  • Ireland A (26) vs. USA (8) - (March 19, 2011)
  • USA (46) vs. Canada (12) - (November 20, 2010)
  • USA (36) vs. Jamaica (26) - (November 16, 2010)
  • USA (22) vs. Canada (16) - (September 19, 2010)
  • USA (37) vs. Jamaica (22) - (November 14, 2009)
  • Samoa (42) vs. USA (10) - (November 9, 2007)
  • USA (54) vs. Japan (18) - (October 28, 2006)
  • Italy A (38) vs. USA (6) - (February 4, 2006)
  • USA (40) vs. Japan (10) - (January 26, 2006)
  • Australia (36) vs. USA (24) - Philadelphia, PA (December 1, 2004)
  • Russia (64) vs. USA (8) - (May 12, 2004)
  • Ireland (74) vs. USA (16) - (May 10, 2004)
  • USA (41) vs. Ireland A (10) - (March 24, 2004)
  • USA (78) vs. Japan (6) - (June 27, 2003)
  • Russia (44) vs. USA (14) - (May 6, 2003)
  • USA (20) vs. Ireland A (16) - (March 15, 2003)
  • New Zealand A (74) vs. USA (14) - (October 6, 2002)
  • Russia (54) vs. USA (10) - Moscow, RU (September 13, 2002)
  • Tatarstan (30) vs. USA (24) - (September 9, 2002)
  • USA (26) vs. Japan (10) - (June 1, 2002)
  • USA (24) vs. Ireland A (22) - (March 16, 2002)
  • USA (50) vs. Morocco (10) - (2000)
  • Italy (40) vs. USA (16) - (November 17, 2000)
  • USA (52) vs. Canada (10) - (November 13, 2000)
  • USA (19) vs. Ireland A (6) - (March 18, 2000)
  • England (110) vs. USA (0) - (2000)
  • Lebanon (62) vs. USA (8) - (November 1999)
  • USA (68) vs. Canada (0) - (1999)
  • USA (54) vs. Japan (0) - (1999)
  • USA (32) vs. Canada (6) - (1998)
  • USA (50) vs. Canada (10) - (1997)
  • France (31) vs. USA (0) - (1954)
American Patriots

American Patriots

1993 - 1996 (USA National Team)

In 1991 Rugby World TV promoter John F. Morgan of Lake Placid, NY was petitioned by Rugby League Australia to bring a USA Team to the Sydney 7's and in 1993 Morgan created the AMERICAN PATRIOTS who became a novel hit at the Annual Sydney 7's. Morgan also acquired the TV rights to ARL competitions and aired them on his Rugby World TV program from 1991-95. He also attempted to launch League in the USA and convinced the RFL to send an Ireland Team to the USA for St. Patricks Day matches in 1995 and 1996. The games were staged at RFK Stadium and televised live by espn2 in 95 and delayed in 96. In 1992 former St George Dragons player David Niu relocated to Philadelphia and began to introduce rugby league to the Glen Mills Schools, where he was employed as a teacher. Soon after, he was contacted by Morgan and they set about building a U.S. national team with Niu as player coach to compete in international tournaments for the first time. Morgan also hosted a few USA/Canada matches and a USA/Russia match at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco in 1996.

  • Ireland A (26) vs. USA (6) - (March 16, 1996)
  • Russia (28) vs. USA (26) - (October 20, 1995)
  • Scotland  (38) vs. USA (16) - (October 18, 1995)
  • Cook Islands (64) vs. USA (8) - (October 16, 1995)
  • Wales (66) vs. USA (10) - (June 18, 1995)
  • Wales (92) vs. USA (4) - (June 11, 1995)
  • Ireland A (24) vs. USA (22) - (March 16, 1995)
  • USA (44) vs. Canada (0) - (1995)
  • USA (22) vs. Canada (0) - (1994)
  • USA (22) vs. Canada (10) - (1994)
  • Russia (19) vs. USA (12) - (1994)
  • USA (32) vs. Canada (2) - (1993)
  • Canada (23) vs. USA (10) - (1987)