TAMPA, FL – On Saturday, 22 June, the Atlanta Rhinos (1-2-0) trampled the Tampa Mayhem (1-3-0) 64 to 28. Also, the Southwest Florida Copperheads (SWFL, 2-1-0) rolled over the Lakeland Renegades (1-3-0) 30 to 12. So, these two match-ups marked the fifth weekend of the 2019 USA Rugby League (USARL) Southern Division (SD) regular season schedule. As for the fifth club, the Jacksonville Axemen, who currently lead the USARL SD with a 4-0-0 record, took Saturday’s bye.
Atlanta Tramples Tampa
On Saturday, the Atlanta Rhinos hosted the Tampa Mayhem at the Atlanta Silverbacks Park Saturday. Coming into this weekend, both clubs had gotten off to a rough start in 2019. So, each club had hope that this contest would turn its season with a win. In the game, the Rhinos mauled the Mayhem with an imposing 64 to 28 margin of victory. As a result, Atlanta earned its first win of the 2019 USARL Season. After its loss, Tampa plans to regroup over the off weekend. With the extra time to train, the Mayhem hopes to gain back its swagger for the club’s final four games.
Atlanta’s Tomu Osborne talks about the game from the Rhino’s perspective:
On Saturday, the boys [Atlanta Rhinos] came together finally this week. At practice, we got back to the numbers we are used to having and a couple key pieces were out for the first time this year. As a result, the team played well and within the simple game plan. Yes, we are thrilled with our stand out Dee Brown in the middle of the field for the second straight week. Actually, this is only his 2nd game of league. As the game proves, [Brown] runs hard up the middle and loves to hit hard on defense. Also, JP [Jason Paul] was back for us in the centers this week and [he] scored four tries. Additionally, we had a big game from our winger Devione Beasley in his first ever league game. Believe us, [Beasley] is a speedster out wide. For this reason, we can’t wait to see his impact the rest of the season.
Finally, for the Rhinos, Hiko Malu, Dee Brown, and Alex Bitterlin each contributed a try toward Atlanta‘s 64 points.
For the Mayhem, Captain Justin Branca scored two of Tampa’s tries. Also of note, Neal Hargis and Victor Veloz earning one try a piece. Wrapping up for Tampa, Mayhem import from Australia Jay Kissick converted all four of the aforementioned tries.
Copperheads Roll Over the Renegades
Also, on Saturday, the Lakeland Renegades hosted the USARL’s SD’s other junior club, the SWFL Copperheads, at Lakeland’s All Saints Academy. In the game, the Copperheads decisively defeated the Renegades 30 to 12.
For SWFL, Ted Pierce scored all 30 of the Copperheads points – five tries (20 points) and five conversions (10 points)! With the Renegades, Daniel Godfrey and Jason Heath scored one try each for Lakeland. Wrapping things up for the Renegades, David Ulch successfully converted both of Lakeland’s tries.
Halfway Point for 2019 USARL SD Season
As previously mentioned, Saturday, 22 June, marked the fifth weekend of the 2019 USA Rugby League Southern Division’s ten Saturday regular season schedule. To this point, each USARL SD team has had four games (scheduled), and each club has had one bye week. At the mid-way mark, Jacksonville has a commanding 4-0-0 lead over its fellow SD clubs. Below Jacksonville, SWFL ranks second (2-1-0) and Atlanta third (1-2-0). Wrapping up the USARL SD standings, Tampa and Lakeland are tied for fourth (1-3-0).
As mentioned two weeks ago, the 08 June’s flooding rains in Atlanta ruined that Saturday’s Rhinos v. SWFL Copperheads contest. So, these two teams have only played three games. In comparison, the other three clubs have played four match-ups. At the time of this publication, Atlanta and SWFL had not rescheduled 08 June’s rain out.
Saturday’s Upcoming South Division Match-Ups
This Saturday, 29 June, features two match-ups in the USARL South Division. In the first game, the Jacksonville Axemen will host the SWFL Copperheads on the University of North Florida’s (UNF) Soccer Fields. Also, on Saturday, the Atlanta Rhinos will host the Lakeland Renegades at the Atlanta Silverbacks Park. Wrapping up this coming Saturday, the Tampa Mayhem takes the second of its two bye weekends allotted to each USARL SD Club in 2019.
Links to more information about the clubs, the USA Rugby League Southern Division (USARL SD), and RWU
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P.S… In order to best keep up with the Jacksonville Axemen, Atlanta Rhinos, Tampa Mayhem, SWFL Copperheads, the the Lakeland Renegades, and the Southern Division (SD) of the USA Rugby League (USARL) this season, enlist the help of Rugby Wrap Up (RWU).
To learn more about the Lakeland Renegades, the USARL SD’s newest club, please visit the team’s Facebook page.
Finally, for additional details relating to the USA Rugby League (USARL), please visit the website.