TAMPA, FL – On Saturday, 20 July, a hat-trick of tries by Alex Eberle helped steer the 121 Financial Credit Union Jacksonville Axemen (7-0-0) in their 68 to 10 routing of the Atlanta Rhinos (2-5-0). Jacksonville whom hosted Atlanta on the University of North Florida’s (UNF) Rugby Fields outscored the Rhinos 12 tries to two. The theme of the match: Jacksonville Upends Atlanta.
Meanwhile, the other scheduled USA Rugby League (USARL) South Conference contest, the Tampa Mayhem (3-3-0) v. the Southwest Florida (SWFL) Copperheads (3-3-0), was cancelled due to thunderstorms. The fifth club, the Lakeland Renegades (1-6-0), took the next-to-last bye.
With Jacksonville Axemen tries by Alex Eberle, Nathan Richter, and Khaliq Webb, Jacksonville took a 14 to 0 lead into the first water break. After the first water break, tries by Jake Hawkins, Jye Montgomery, and Charlie Jones added 18 more points prior to halftime. However, Atlanta did sneak in an unconverted try at the very end of the half. This brought the halftime score to 32 Jacksonville to Atlanta 4.
Going into half time, Jacksonville Axemen Coach Sean Rutgerson had this to say about his club: “After a few weeks without any games we were trying to shake off the cobwebs and stay motivated after that time. However, the team is still coming together and working really hard.”
After halftime, tries from James Campbell, Josh Jackson, David Thomas, and Alex Eberle – all converted by Jake Hawkins – built Jacksonville’s advantage back to 56 to 4. Following the most recent Axemen’s try, the Rhinos scored, and converted the try, to bring the game at 56 to 10. After Atlanta’s final six points, Jacksonville’s David Washington and Charlie Jones also reached the try zone, giving Jacksonville the 68 to 10 win over Atlanta. Wrapping up once again with the theme of the win, the Jacksonville Upends Atlanta.
Following his clubs win, Coach Rutgerson gave his club’s closing comments: “We are still looking good defensively, really solid. And there were a lot of penalties against us and we defended well on our own line.”
Elsewhere in the USARL South
As mentioned earlier in the article, storms in and around Tampa Bay forced the cancellation of the Tampa Mayhem home match against the SWFL Copperheads. Also, as mentioned earlier, the Lakeland Renegades had this past Saturday’s scheduled off.
Final Regular Season Saturday for the USARL South
This Saturday, 27 July 2019, marks the final weekend of the 2019 USA Rugby League’s (USARL) South Conference (SC). In Lehigh Acres, the SWFL Copperheads will hosts Lakeland Renegades. To their north, Tampa Mayhem travels to Jacksonville Axemen for a game on the UNF Rugby Fields. Wrapping up the USARL SC for the final regular-season Saturday, the Atlanta Rhinos. All five clubs will await post-season positioning seeds following Saturday’s last two games.
Links to more information about the clubs, the USA Rugby League South Conference (USARL SC), and RWU
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To learn more about the Jacksonville Axemen, please visit the team’s website.
For more information about the Atlanta Rhinos, please visit the club’s website.
To learn more about the SWFL Copperheads, please visit the team’s website.
For more information about the Tampa Mayhem, please visit the club’s website.
To learn more about the Lakeland Renegades, the USARL SC’s newest club, please visit the team’s Facebook page.