However, the Mayhem’s 19-6 margin of defeat was significantly smaller than the first matchup between the two clubs, when Jacksonville dominated the scoreboard in a 32-0 blowout, played in Jacksonville on 18 June.
Though thunderstorms avoided delaying the game during regulation, the lightning did lead to an extended halftime period. This costs both teams some momentum going the second half of the game. Neither the Axemen nor the Mayhem looked as sharp in the last forty minutes as they had in the first half. The rainfall through much of the second half also led to a slick field and game ball.
Jacksonville maintains its lead through the entire game
Though the Mayhem played solid defensively in the first half, the Axemen still managed to score two tries. The Axemen scored their first converted try 13 minutes into the game, taking a 6-0 lead into the first water break. Right after the brief break in play, Jacksonville struck again with a try and conversion to bring the score to 12-0. After that try, the Mayhem’s defense kept the Axemen out of the end zone for the rest of the half, keeping the halftime score at 12-0.
Five minutes into the second half, Jacksonville scored its third and final try to take an 18-0 lead, the last time the Axemen reached the end zone. However, Tampa continued to struggle offensively, with the Mayhem finally scoring a try and conversion with just three minutes left in the game, bringing the score to 18-6. As time expired, the Axemen scored with a drop kick (a kick made from the field that goes through the goalposts, resulting in one point) to win the game 19-6.
Both coaches comment on their clubs’ performances
Rugby Wrap Up had the opportunity to speak with Jacksonville Axemen Coach Ben Nicoll and Tampa Mayhem Coach Daniel “Payney” Payne after the game about each club’s performance in Saturday’s matchup.
Coach Nicoll: “We gave away a lot of penalties and too many dropped balls. It was a tough game on both sides, with the rain delay hurting both leads. Our forwards outperformed our backs.”
Coach Payney: “We’re not sticking to our sets (plays) enough. We are doing things at practice we aren’t able to take out on the field, which will work on this week at practice. Overall our defense played well though.”
Atlanta defeats Central Florida for first win of the season
ATLANTA, GA – In other SE USARL action Saturday, the Atlanta Rhinos defeated the Central Florida Warriors 46-16 Saturday evening in their matchup played at the Georgia Soccer Park Saturday evening. With the win, the Rhinos break the tie for third place in the SE USARL, improving to 1-3-1, while the Warriors now occupy fourth place at 0-4-1.
SE Clubs take the USARL All Star break this weekend
With the USARL hosting its annual All Star game this weekend in Philadelphia, PA, all four of the SE clubs take a break from regional play this weekend. However, some of the players from the SE USARL will take part in the game. When play resumes on 30 July, the last games of the 2016 USARL Season, with Tampa Mayhem hosting the Atlanta Rhinos, and the Jacksonville Axemen playing a home game against the Central Florida Warriors.
Links to learn more about each club, the USARL, and Rugby Wrap Up
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P.S… Keep up with the Axemen, Rhinos, Mayhem, 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.