DELAND, FL– The USARL Tampa Mayhem trampled the Central Florida Warriors 56-26 Saturday in USA Rugby League (USARL) action at Spec Martin Stadium. This marked this season’s second matchup between the teams. The Mayhem had defeated the Warriors 24-16 in Tampa on 11 June.
With the win, Tampa moves to 3-1-0 on the season, second behind the Jacksonville Axemen, and secures home field advantage for the first round of the Southeast Division (SE) USARL Playoffs.
Meanwhile, Central Florida falls to 0-3-1 and remain tied with the Atlanta Rhinos for third place in the SE USARL.
Mayhem breaks out to big lead before halftime
The Tampa Mayhem broke out to a big lead well before halftime, scoring four tries and two conversions to take a 20-0 lead before the Central Florida Warriors could score any points of their own. The Warriors responded with a converted try nine minutes before halftime to bring the Mayhem’s advantage down to 14.
An altercation six minutes prior to halftime led to two Mayhem and Warrior players receiving yellow cards (penalties leading to ten minute ejections). With 11 on 11 (like American Football) Tampa still tacked on one more converted try before the first half ended to take a 26-6 lead going into halftime.
Warriors fight back, but Mayhem prevail in the end
Early in the second half, Central Florida scored a converted try that cut Tampa’s lead back to 14 points. However, soon after the Mayhem both sides returned to full strength, Tampa scored and converted a try to bring its lead back to 20. Prior to the second water break, the teams traded tries (Mayhem added a conversion) to bring the score to 38-16.
Tampa tacked on another try and conversion right after the break to bring the Mayhem lead up to 28 points. Then the Warriors responded with an unconverted try of their own to bring the score to 44-20. Both Tampa and Central Florida added converted tries to bring the score to 50-26 just before the end of regulation. But just before time expired, the Mayhem scored and converted a try to win the game 56-26.
Coaches offer their respective perspectives on the game’s outcome
Tampa Mayhem Coach Daniel “Payney” Payne provided his perspective on his team’s win over the Central Florida Warriors.
Coach Payney: “The (Mayhem) defense was the best it’s been all season in the first half of the game, but dropped off a bit in the second half. Next week Jacksonville is coming to play, we’re going to have to be on top of our game. Our Man of the Match honors went to Josh Young and John St. John.”
Central Florida Warrior Coach Gareth “Gaz” Walker then offered his commentary regarding his club’s loss to Tampa.
Coach Gaz: “We (Warriors) were very poor. Not taking away anything from the Mayhem guys. They were far and above better than us. We learn a lot of lessons from today we need to work on. Few guys pulled up just a little short. However, Tampa was just better than us in every aspect of today’s game.”
Both clubs take the field again this Saturday
The Tampa Mayhem will host the Jacksonville Axemen on Saturday at Tampa Catholic High School, as the Mayhem try to avenge its early season blowout by the Axemen and tie Jacksonville at the top of the SE USARL. Meanwhile, the Central Florida Warriors will travel to Atlanta Silverback Stadium to take on the Atlanta Rhinos. Both of these clubs, who opened the season 04 June with a 28-28 tie are vying for their first 2016 victory to break the tie for third place in the SE USARL.
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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.