It was honours even in Featherstone, as Scotland and Jamaica played out an entertaining 30-30 draw.
The match ebbed and flowed, with both sides enjoying periods of dominance in a see-saw fixture. Jamaica came out of the blocks firing, racing into a 10-0 lead after a dummy-half score from Jymel Coleman and a Ben Jones-Bishop length of the field effort.
Scotland’s rustiness in the opening stages soon faded, and a combination of completing sets and the impact of Charlie Emslie off the bench saw the visitors claw their way into the lead.
Emslie crashed over thanks to a flat pass by James Bell, before Danny Addy threaded a pass over the Jamaican defence to give Will Oakes a simple finish in the corner.
With the lead at 10-12 the Scottish tails were well and truly up, and it didn’t take long for them to double their lead. Ben Hellewell reacted quickest to a loose ball after Will Oakes had kicked through, before Captain Dale Ferguson went in under the posts to put Scotland into a commanding 10-24 half time lead.
Scotland’s momentum continued after the break, when Charlie Emslie thundered over for his second score immediately after the restart.
At this point it looked like the Bravehearts could run away with the game, however to Jamaica’s credit they fought back in impressive style. The Reggae Warriors put the Scots under huge pressure, and despite some last-ditch defensive efforts, Jamaica found their way over the whitewash with a series of powerful finishes.
Joe Brown and Jordan Andrade scored in quick succession before Ben Jones-Bishop added his second with a brilliant finish. Alex Brown powered over in the corner to level the game and complete the comeback.
In the end a draw was a fair reflection on the game, with both teams managing to capitalise when they were on top. Either side showed glimpses of what they are capable of, and will hope today’s performance will give their World Cup opponents some headaches next year.