JACKSONVILLE, FL – The Jacksonville Axemen manhandled the Tampa Mayhem in a rain-soaked 32-0 shutout Saturday. The Axemen hosted Tampa at Jacksonville’s home pitch on the University of North Florida’s (UNF) Soccer Fields. Rain fell through much of the game, with a torrential downpour closing out the final 20 minutes of the match.
The Axemen win brings Jacksonville to 2-0-0 for the 2016 USA Rugby League (USARL) Season, and puts the club at the top of the Southeastern (SE) Division of the USARL. Tampa drops to 1-1, but remains ahead of the Central Florida Warriors and the Atlanta Rhinos – both with 0-1-1 records.
The Jacksonville Axemen took control of the game from the beginning, scoring a converted try to take a 6-0 lead over the Tampa Mayhem. The Axemen scored another try and conversion before the 20-munite mark water break, and tacked on yet another converted try before the first half ended, giving Jacksonville an 18-0 lead over Tampa going into halftime.
Tampa tried to take the momentum back early in the second half. The Mayhem threatened three times before the 60-minute mark, but costly mistakes and penalties turned the ball back over to the Axemen. Still, Tampa’s ball control did manage keep the Axemen out of the try zone for more than 20 minutes.
However, with fifteen minutes left in the match, Jacksonville scored the half’s first try and conversion, bringing the score to Axemen 24, Mayhem 0. Jacksonville scored two more tries, including one at the full time mark. However, the Axemen missed these conversion attempts due to the quickly deteriorating weather conditions.
Mayhem Coach Payne recaps his club’s performance against the Axemen
“It was pretty disappointing the way we played, we dropped way too much ball and against an experienced Axemen side like the Axemen it was just way too much to overcome. Hopefully the boys are ready to train the house down this week and turn it around going into Atlanta, obviously a tough trip heading up there against the south champs from last season but confident we can get the two points [with a win].”
Axemen owners react to Jacksonville’s big win over Tampa
Both of the Axemen’s owners provided their input after Jacksonville’s win over Tampa:
Drew Slover — “We are very happy with win and the performance of the Axemen this week. It was a tough game, much tougher than the score indicated.”
Ben Nicoll — “I was really happy with the boys effort from the game. We put our selves under pressure at times from dropped balls. But our defense was awesome. They had a lot of football on our goal line but the boys all turned up for Each other and kept them out. “
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P.s… Keep up with the Mayhem, Axemen, and USARL with the help of Rugby Wrap Up… For more information about the Tampa Mayhem, visit the team’s website… For the Jacksonville Axemen, see their website and finally, for more Rugby League info in the USA, visit the USARL website.