Game Preview: Round 3
For Round 3 of the USARL Competition the Jacksonville Axemen travel north take on the Atlanta Rhinos. The Axemen are coming off a bye week and a win in Round 1, and are eager to see how they match up against Atlanta in their first season. Coach Mat Keeley has been organizing the team for the past two weeks and has delivered the leadership role to the only player who has been with the Axemen for all 9 seasons. “We are looking forward to Atlanta and are boosted by the return of Captain Ritchie Alleger,” says Keeley. “He’s a veteran of the team now and I’ve been really impressed with his leadership this year. Ritchie understands that you can talk about winning a National Championship all you like but it is hard work and that burning desire to win that gets you that ring at the end of the season.”
The Rhinos, who are returning from a close loss to the Central Florida Warriors are looking for redemption in front of their fans at the first home game in the team’s history. “I have no doubt Atlanta will be tough at home, it’s all about getting off to a good start and working on the things we have practiced at training. The boys have prepared well and after seeing the Rhinos performance against Central Florida we certainly need to turn up this weekend if we are going to get the 2 points. The Rhinos have some big forwards, so I’m particularly interested to see how our guys handle themselves.”
A win for the Axemen this week would fuel the fire as the team goes into two weeks of home games on June 21st and 28th in front of what are expected to be record crowds at Hodges Stadium. “This is a big game for us, if we can go into our 3rd game with 2 wins then we are a long way to securing a home play-off given the short season,” says Keeley. “We are playing a different style to past years so I’m not expecting it to be perfect; for me it’s about commitment and pride to put on an Axemen jersey, and the rest will come.” The battle begins this Sat. June 14th at Atlanta Silverbacks Park, game time 2pm. If you can’t join the CHOP ZONE this weekend, you can follow the Axemen on facebook and twitter for game updates and scores.