BOSTON, MA – The Philadelphia Fight defeated the Jacksonville Axemen 42 to 20 in the 2016 USA Rugby League (USARL) National Championship Game. This matchup took place Saturday, 27 August, at Nickerson Field, on the grounds of Boston University.
With this win, the Philadelphia Fight takes the title of 2016 USARL Champions. On the season, Philadelphia finishes 11-0-0, scoring 535 points, and allowing 108.
Following its defeat, the Jacksonville Axemen finish the 2016 USARL Season 8-1-0, scoring 307 points, and allowing 142.
Game gets off to slow start, but Fight finish first half with the lead
Through the first 30 minutes of the matchup, miscues and penalties hampered both teams’ abilities to take control of the contest. However, with about ten minutes left in the first half, Philadelphia’s Joel Weeks scored the game’s first try. After a successful Mike Timpano conversion, the Fight took a 6 to 0 lead over the Axemen.
With less than two minutes left in the half, the Fight’s Jared Frymorer scored Philadelphia’s second try. After another successful Timpano conversion, the Fight took a 12-point advantage over the Axemen.
Just before the end of the opening half, Jacksonville’s Jonathan Halter scored the Axemen’s first try. After Hayden Diggin’s conversion, the score going into halftime was Philadelphia 12 – Jacksonville 6.
Philadelphia takes control in second half, claims 2016 USARL Championship
Philadelphia started off the second half with two tries by Rhys Bowdich. Although Timpano missed the first of the two conversions, he redeemed himself on the second try. After the second half’s first two tries, Philadelphia led Jacksonville 22 to 6.
However, Jacksonville quickly responded with two tries of its own. Axeman Tyler McClain scored the first of the tries. While the conversion failed, Jacksonville still cut Philadelphia’s lead back to twelve. On the heels of Jacksonville’s initial score, Axemen Jonathan Halter secured another try. Following this try, Halter also successfully kicked the conversion. With 23 minutes left in the game, the score stood at Philadelphia 22 – Jacksonville 16.
Following the Axemen’s second try, the Philadelphia Fight took almost total control of the game. With 15 minutes left, Philadelphia’s Josh Vaartjes and Mike Timpano teamed up with a respective try and conversion. This built the Fight’s lead back to 12 points. Just one minute later, the Fight’s Bowdich scored another (unconverted) try, bringing the score to Philadelphia 32 – Jacksonville 16.
With 11 minutes left, Philadelphia’s Mike Gentile secured his first try for the Fight. Even though Timpano missed the conversion, the Fight extended its lead over the Axemen to 20 points. Just three minutes later, Bowdich scored his fourth try of the game. After Timpano’s conversion, Philadelphia built its lead over Jacksonville to 26 points.
As the game ended, Jacksonville’s Urban Iyo scored one more (unconverted) try for his team. With the try, the Axemen added four more points to their total. After the final play, the 2016 USA Rugby League Championship Game ended with the score Philadelphia Fight 42 – Jacksonville Axemen 20.
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