Jamaica on the right track reckons Wakefield Trinity flier Ben Jones-Bishop
WAKEFIELD TRINITY wing ace Ben Jones-Bishop has high hopes for the future of Jamaica rugby league.
The 31-year-old was a member of the Jamaica team beaten 38-6 by England Knights last weekend, but reckons the way they played – particularly in the second half – gives the Reggae Warriors something positive to build on.
Jamaica conceded five tries in the opening period and went in at the break 28-0 behind.
But they dominated the third quarter, scoring a try through former Trinity three-quarter Mason Caton-Brown and only a late England touchdown prevented them ‘winning’ the final 40.
Reflecting on the game – Jamaica’s first since they qualified for the World Cup a year ago – Jones-Bishop said: “It was good. Obviously the first half wasn’t what we wanted, but the second half was a lot better.
“I think generally the more time we spend together, the better we will be.
“We took a little while to get going, but we’d been in camp since Tuesday and we had limited time on the field together.
“There’s lots of things to work on, but it’s the start of a process, of a journey, over a couple of years.”
Jones-Bishop played for England Knights seven years ago and is one of only a handful of players in the Jamaica squad with Super League experience.
“Obviously it was a big step playing England Knights,” he admitted.
“They are all full-time players and some of our boys aren’t, but it was a good marker to see where we are at.
“There’s some good things to take away from it and also things we can improve on.
“Being in camp together, the week as a whole was good.
“The next time we meet up we’ll keep building on things and keep improving.”
The spirit in Jamaica’s squad shone through in their second-half performance and Jones-Bishop insisted: “It’s a great group.
“That’s what I found last year, in the qualifiers, which was my first experience of the group.
“It is different to club rugby, a lot of them are part-time players and the chemistry they have is incredible.
“They welcomed me really well and we have a good time in camp.”
Jones-Bishop’s Super League experience, which includes a Grand Final win with Leeds Rhinos, makes him a key member of the Jamaica set-up.
He said: Ash [Golding] and Michael Lawrence are probably more vocal, but I try and set high standards and help out when I can.
“I think it’s good, we are gelling together and standards are improving.”