USARL: Axemen Cap Perfect Season with Runaway Win over Warriors

Axemen vs. Warriors
Jacksonville Axemen vs. Central Florida Warriors, photo three; Photo Credit: Allene Rachal
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JACKSONVILLE, FL – On Saturday, the Jacksonville Axemen, 6-0-0, capped off a perfect regular season with a runaway 48-12 win over the Central Florida Warriors. This contest took place on the University of North Florida (UNF) soccer fields, which serves as venue for the Axemen’s home games.

axemen With this win, the Jacksonville Axemen finish first in the Southern Conference (SC) of the USA Rugby League (USARL). Therefore, the Axemen will host the number four seed in the first round of the SC USARL Playoffs on Saturday, 06 August.

1970536_1401584103443511_860189654_n With their loss, the After this loss, the Central Florida Warriors drop to 0-5-1. As a result, the Warriors finish fourth in the SC USARL. This sets the stage for a rematch at 5:30 pm Saturday between the Axemen and the Warriors.

Axemen vs. Warriors
Jacksonville Axemen vs Central Florida Warriors; Photo Credit: Allene Rachal

On Saturday, the victor from the Jacksonville vs. Central Florida game will take on the winner of the Tampa Mayhem vs. Atlanta Rhinos game at Tampa Catholic High School. With the Mayhem (3-3-0) and the Rhinos (2-3-1) kicking off at 3 p.m., the matchup in Tampa will end just before the contest in Jacksonville begins.

All Axemen for the first half of the game

To the detriment of the Warriors, the first half of the Jacksonville vs. Central Florida game was all Axemen. At the start the game, the Axemen quickly scored three unconverted tries to take a 12-0 lead over the Warriors. Then, just before halftime, Jacksonville scored a converted try to take an 18-0 advantage.

Axemen vs. Warriors
Warriors attempt to make a break; Photo Credit: Allene Rachal

Jacksonville runs away with win after second half dominance

At the beginning of the second half Jacksonville scored another converted try to take a 24-0 lead over Central Florida. Afterward, the Warriors answered with a try of their own. However, Central Florida failed to convert the kick, bringing the score to 24-4. Shortly after Central Florida’s unconverted try, Jacksonville responded with a conversion and try of its own. As a result, the Axemen built back their lead to 30-4.

Axemen vs. Warriors
Axemen break away toward the try zone; Photo Credit: Allene Rachal

Shortly thereafter, Jacksonville earned another try and conversion to build the team’s lead to 36-4. However, the Warriors then responded with an unconverted try. This score cut the Axemen’s lead to 28 points. After another Central Florida unconverted try, Jacksonville responded with two converted tries. This brought the score to Axemen 48 – Warriors 8. In the closing moments of the game, the Warriors secured one more unconverted try for four more points. At the end of the game, the final score was Jacksonville 48 – Central Florida 12.

Axemen Coach Ben Nicoll provides commentary about his club’s performance against the Warriors

After the game, Jacksonville Axemen Head Coach Ben Nicoll provided his perspective about his team’s performance against the Central Florida Warriors:

“Today we [Jacksonville Axemen] completed our sets early which I was happy with. However, we also blew a lot of opportunities, which we will work on during the week. Hopefully we can convert those miscues into points next week. Overall, the game was pretty physical in the middle. Therefore, we will expect the same thing from the Warriors this Saturday.”

Jacksonville and Central Florida set for a rematch Saturday

As mentioned earlier, the Jacksonville Axemen (first seed) and the Central Florida Warriors (fourth seed) will meet again next Saturday, 06 August. Here, the two teams will compete for a spot in the SC USARL Championship Game.

Should Jacksonville defeat the Warriors again Saturday, the SC USARL Championship will take place in Jacksonville. Since Jacksonville finished the 2016 USARL Season at 6-0-0, the Axemen have secured home field advantage for both rounds of the SC USARL Playoffs.

Links to more information about the clubs, the USARL, and RWU

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P.S…
Keep up with the Jacksonville Axemen, Atlanta Rhinos, Tampa Mayhem, Central Florida Warriors, and the SE USA Rugby League (USARL) this season with the help of Rugby Wrap Up. To learn more about the Jacksonville Axemen, please visit the club’s website. For more information about the Atlanta Rhinos, please visit the club’s website. To learn more about the Central Florida Warriors, please visit the team’s website. For more information about the Tampa Mayhem, please visit the team’s website. For additional information about the USA Rugby League (USARL), please visit the USARL website.

About Brian C. Cole 50 Articles
Mass Comm Grad Student at USF in Tampa Bay, FL (US); write about Rugby as well as Music, Politics, and Weather; Photographer; covers SE Division of USA Rugby League (Atlanta Rhinos,, Jacksonville Axemen, Lakeland Renegades, Southwest Florida Copperheads and the Tampa Mayhem); works with Tampa Mayhem & Tampa Bay Krewe RFC.