Jacksonville Axemen Rugby League

Game Report: June 29th Vs New York Queens and Atlanta Rhinos

The Jacksonville Axemen and AxeWomen were home on June 29th for the final regular season home game. The women took on the newly formed New York State Queens, who were playing their first game, and the men had a rematch with the Atlanta Rhinos after defeating them on June 8th.

AxeWomen vs Queens

The women started off with the Queens to receive the ball, and they put in a great early effort to move the ball into AxeWomen territory. A catch from Miranda Barnard very close to the try zone set Jacksonville up for some work, but a penalty from NY led to another set of 6 tackle where the AxeWomen marched up the field. Some quick play of the ball led to Christine Nestle to score the first try of the game. Stacey Nemeth was good for the conversion kick and the AxeWomen were up 6-0.

For the next 10 minutes the game was very much a back and forth between the two teams with penalties keeping the game right around the 20 meter mark. When Jacksonville regained the ball after the 3rd time the AxeWomen were able to capitalize and Gabby Young had a big run up the middle to score another 4 points. Stacey Nemeth was good for another 2 points to bring the score to 12-0.

The AxeWomen were in control of the game now and held the Queens in their own half. They were able to move the ball to the right outside wing Aprylle Davis, who had a swift 20 meter run to score under the uprights. The referee called no try however, and said the ball was fumbled.

New York used this to their advantage and turned the momentum around, pulling an AxeWomen out of bounds to get the ball back on the 20m line. A big run from the Queens and some smart passes led them up into AxeWomen territory. Another penalty by Jacksonville gave the Queens another set of 6 on the 30 meter line and they were pushing hard to get points on the board. They got the ball across the try line but was not put in with downward pressure, so New York still had work to do. On the 5 meter line the Queens were pulled out of bounds, and the ball was turned back over the the AxeWomen. Going into the 20 minute water break the score remained 12-0.

The Jax AxeWomen completed their next set to put the kick in the end zone and give New York a start at the 20 meter line. Big runs from both teams led the ball back and forth on the field for the next 15 minutes until the Queens were finally able to break a tackle and run up the middle to score their first try of the game. The teams went into the half time with a 12-4 score.

The AxeWomen received the ball for the second half. The heat and humidity were starting to affect both teams with some injury time outs, but when the game was back into play the AxeWomen regained control. A big run from Christine Sargent who put the ball down under the uprights and Jacksonville was up 16-4. The conversion from Stacey Nemeth was good to increase the lead 18-4.

The AxeWomen were playing well as a team now with a run from Haley Sheldon, pass to Stacey Nemeth, and finally pass to Taylor White led to another 4 points. Nemeth was once again good for the conversion and the score was 24-4.

Getting the ball back again, the AxeWomen worked up the field. On the 5th tackle a nice grubber kick from Stacey Nemeth was caught by Aprylle Davis to score on the right side. Nemeth scored another 2 points with the conversion and the AxeWomen lead 30-4.

Team took the final 20 minute water break of the game and the Queens were not giving up without a fight. They recovered their own kick off and worked up the field in Jacksonville territory. A knock on by the Queens gave the ball back to the AxeWomen, who ran it up to the NY side only to knock the ball on a big tackle. The Queens took advantage of the penalty and got the ball back and took it all the way up the right side to score in the corner. The conversion was no good and the gap closed 30-8.

When they received the ball on the next kick off the Queens ran the ball out the back leading to a goal line drop out. The AxeWomen were ready on offense working the ball to the left side this time and Haley Brewer scored her first try of the game. The conversion was no good and the score move to 34-8.

A knock on deep in Queens territory set the AxeWomen up for another score, and Haley Sheldon ran in the the try under the uprights. Stacey Nemeth was good for the conversion and the score moved to 40-8.

The New York Queens showed some true heart in the last few minutes of the game and were able to sneak the ball through the defense to put another 4 points on the board. The conversion was no good, and the clock ticked down with a final score of 40-12.

Coach Sean Rutgerson was pleased with the outcome. “I was really happy to get a good result,” said Rutgerson. They stuck to the game plan, showed plenty of desire and played as a team. This made a massive difference.

The women will travel to the Bronx, NY on Saturday July 13th to take on the New York State Queens on their home turf. Kick off is 12:30pm

Axemen vs Rhinos

The men took on the Atlanta Rhinos, who gave the Axemen quite a challenge when they played in Atlanta earlier this month. The Axemen came out on top but proved they could play tough and score tries. When they traveled to Jacksonville, however, it was much different story, and the Axemen were able to dominate the game fully offensively and defensively ending in a whopping 102-0 win.

There were a number of players who scored tries throughout the game and Mason McCrory scored a large number of points with conversion kicks. Coach Sean Rutgerson didn’t have any complaints on the men’s win this week. “They controlled the game right from the start,” said Rutgerson. “They kept it simple and got a good result.”

The Axemen have two weeks to rest up before a rematch against the South Florida Copperheads in Naples, FL on July 20th. Kick off is 6:45pm.