Jacksonville Axemen Rugby League

Axemen Remain Undefeated After Big Win Over Copperheads

By Brian Lowe

Photos Allene Rachal

The 121 Financial Jacksonville Axemen have kept their undefeated record intact with a one-sided 90-4 victory over the Southwest Florida Copperheads in their SOUTH Conference Round 3 matchup.

To use an old cliché, the Axemen scored early and often en route to the massive win in their 2018 home opener Saturday evening at the UNF soccer fields.

Winger David Washington was the subject of his own highlights reel with five tries as Jacksonville racked up a total of 15 tries in the game.

Jacksonville had a number of players who got on the scoresheet.

Halfback Lachlan Bristow again was in the thick of things scoring tries and kicking goals, while also getting in on the try-scoring action in the first half were Washington, Hunter Lawson, captain Jon Purnell, Steven Hill and Tyler McClain.

The Copperheads didn’t give up though and were rewarded for their efforts with a converted try of their own to make it a 36-4 scoreline and consequently avoid a shutout.

However, the avalanche of Jacksonville tries continued in the second half with more scores by David Thomas, Alex Eberle, Bristow, Jed Pearce, Washington and Kris Townsel.

Pearce also relieved Bristow with the kicking duties later in the half.

“The Copperheads kept trying their best, they’re a new club and I hope that they stick with it because they are improving,” said Jacksonville head coach Sean Rutgerson.

“It was wet and slippery, so we controlled the ball really well and we ended up getting through them.”

It was the Axemen’s second biggest victory in their history. Their record-setting score was a 96-8 win against the Philadelphia Fight back in 2007.

In the other SOUTH Conference game, the Tampa Mayhem beat the defending champion Atlanta Rhinos 46-24 in Tampa.

Coach Rutgerson says that result sets up their forthcoming showdown as a potential precursor to the SERL championship.

“It’s going to be a big match because they’ve got a few guys who’ve come in on their roster from when we last played them, so it’s going to be a real tough game and that’s what we need.

“We need to lift the level of competition here.”

All teams in the USARL national clubs competition will have a bye this coming weekend for the July 4th holiday.

The Axemen will be at home the following weekend, July 14, when they host a return match against the Tampa Mayhem.