Jacksonville Axemen Rugby League

The Axemen started off their season on a high note Saturday June 2nd in the nation’s capital as they handed the DC slayers their first loss of the season. It was a very physical game from the opening whistle as the Axemen asserted their dominance upon a much improved Slayers squad.

The Axemen got on the scoreboard first by slashing through the Slayers defensive line as Cade Pollard scored in the corner of the try zone giving the Axemen a 4-0 advantage. Newly named Head Coach Mat Keeley missed the ensuing conversion kick. On the next possession of the game, the Axemen once again drove right down the field with ease as Keeley picked up his first try of the season and converted the kick to open the game on a commanding 10-0 lead.

However, the home team took advantage of Axemen penalties and managed to squeeze through the Axemen’s defensive line and bring the game within four points. The Axemen after that point did not look back and seized control of the game with physical downhill running from Bart Longchamp, Jamie Uyttewaal and Taylor Alley. While on the defense the Axemen swarmed the Slayers offensive line causing them to make a lot of mistakes and turnovers that led to three more tries in the second quarter. Pollard added two more tries to tally giving him a hat trick and Josh Longenecker added a try in the final minute of the half to open up the Axemen lead 28-12.

The Axemen seemed more comfortable as the second half kicked off limiting their mistakes and zoning in on a DC squad that seemed tired as the game wore on. Within the first few minutes of the second half, Matt Clark punched in a try and Keeley converted the kick opening up the Axemen lead by 22 points. The Axemen got their first scare of the season when Aussie Head Coach Mat Keeley came up from a tackle with blood covering his face. Keeley proved his toughness by walking off the field under his own power and returning to the match after being patched up by the Axemen Athletic Trainer Mary Slover. Scoring slowed in the final minutes of the game as the Slayers converted a try off of an Axemen penalty and Axemen Taylor Alley tight lined the sidelines in the final minute to close out the game, Axemen 40- DC Slayers 18. Bart Longchamp picked up the MVP honors, leading the Axemen in tackles and carries. Honorable mention goes to Jamie Uyttewaal and Taylor Alley for their leadership and support roles on the field.

The Axemen look to build upon the success they earned in DC when they play host to Oneida FC at Hodges Stadium UNF at 5:00pm. Come out and support the Axemen in their home opener as they look to start the season on a 2-0 note. As usual the Axemen will be offering fans with $1 beers and tickets for only $5.