HOTLANTA, GA – The Tampa Mayhem defeated the Atlanta Rhinos Saturday by a score of 56-30 at Atlanta Silverbacks Park in Atlanta, Ga. The searing temperatures reached 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) in Atlanta just before kickoff, making for an unusually hot Southeast (SE) Division USA Rugby League (USARL) match in this already rather warm part of the USA.
The heat took a toll on both sides, with water breaks every 20 minutes and after every score. However, the Mayhem handled the adversity from the heat better than the Rhinos, giving Tampa the win. Tampa now moves to 2-1-0 for the 2016 USARL Season, ranking second behind the Jacksonville Axemen (3-0-0). Atlanta falls to 0-2-1, and are tied with the Central Florida Warriors for third place in the South East USARL.
Mayhem’s Brian Rog assists BC Cole with Saturday’s scoring summary
The Rhinos scored the game’s first try, and the kick was good, giving Atlanta a 6-0 advantage over Tampa. The Mayhem responded with a converted try, tying the game 6-6. The Rhinos then took advantage of an interception to score a try and conversion, putting Atlanta back ahead by six. The Mayhem respond with a score right before the water break, but missed the conversion kick bringing the score to 12-10 (Atlanta advantage).
The Rhinos strike first after the water break, but fail to convert the try, bringing the score to Rhinos 16, Mayhem 10. After that try, the Mayhem took control of the first half. Tampa scores an unconverted try, bringing Tampa back within two points. Then Tampa took the lead with the next (unconverted) try, making the score 20-16. The Mayhem make one more unconverted try to end the first half, bringing the score going into halftime Tampa 24, Atlanta 16.
The Mayhem start the scoring in the second half with a converted try, giving Tampa a 30-16 lead over Atlanta. Tampa scores again, touching the ball down right under the posts. After the successful conversion kick, the Mayhem extend their lead to 20 points. The Mayhem would extend its lead to 24 points after another (unconverted try), but Atlanta then responded with three tries and one conversion of their own, bringing the Rhinos back within ten. Going into the second water break, the score stood Tampa 40, Atlanta 30.
After 60 minutes of play, the heat began wearing down both sides. However, Tampa had the endurance advantage over Atlanta, scoring the next converted try and extending the Mayhem lead back to 16 points. Tampa then took advantage of two penalty kicks to build its lead back to 20. Tampa would score one more converted try just before the end of the game. This brought the final score of the match to Tampa Mayhem 56 – Atlanta Rhinos 30.
SE USARL uses holiday weekend as bye Saturdays for all clubs:
All four SE USARL clubs – the Atlanta Rhinos, the Central Florida Warriors, the Jacksonville Axemen, and the Tampa Mayhem – will take this Saturday (02 July) off to celebrate the 04 July holiday here in the states. However, all of the teams return to action on 09 July, with Jacksonville hosting Atlanta and Central Florida hosting Tampa.
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