Jacksonville Axemen Rugby League

Game Report: Round 4

The Dr. Clayman Plastic Surgery Center Jacksonville Axemen remain undefeated through Round 4 of the USARL Competition. With their hardest test of the season, the Axemen took on the Central Florida Warriors in a brutal match up where tempers flared and the passion seen from both sides kept the fans on the edge of their seats.

The Axemen started out a little shaky in the first two minutes, allowing the ball to turnover to the Warriors which they capitalized on with a try scored in the first 3 min of play. Jacksonville regrouped and seemed to get their momentum going with a try to match up the score at the 10 minute mark. As the battle got more intense on the field so did the Jacksonville weather and the game had to take a 30 min lightning delay. Coming back from the storm delay the game quickly finished the first quarter with the score tied 6-6.

The second quarter looked like the Warriors would take control of the game with another try scored early but the Axemen continued to fight and followed through with two tries to take the 18-12 lead going into half time. After returning for the third quarter Jacksonville took control of the game with three tries scored and a strong defense which did not allow the Warriors to cross the try line for the full 20 min, upping the score to 36-12. In the fourth quarter the Axemen continued to pressure a frustrated Central Florida team with 4 tries scored to the Warriors 2, making the final score a convincing 58-24. Coach Mat Keeley was nearly perfect with his kicking game, making 7 of the 8 conversions.

“It was great to be back at Hodges, we didn’t have the best first half but the crowd got behind us and the boys turned it on in the third quarter,” says Keeley. ‘It was a physical contest, but the boys weathered the storm and our fitness brought us home in the end”.

As for the player points in Round 4, Coach Keeley felt that two players deserved to get 1 point each. “The game was won in the forwards and two of our veterans Apple Pope and Jay Defau showed great leadership to get us back on track after a nervous start. They settled things down, took the ball forward and showed a bit of individual brilliance to have a hand in a number of tries.”

With 2 points is Kevin Wathen. “After a big off season Kevin earned himself a starting spot in the team,” says Keeley. “Kevin was brutal in defense and wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty in attack. I couldn’t be prouder of how far he has come since 2012.”

Earning 3 points and MVP is Jamie Uyttewaal. “After losing Meaty in the first quarter I needed my forwards to stand up and Jamie did exactly that. He played over 60 minutes in the front row and never once took a backward step. This year we have a great mix of the old and the young and Jamie really showed his experience out there today”.

The Axemen prepare for Round 5 to take on the traveling Kill Cliff Atlanta Rhinos. Game time is 5pm Sat. June 28th at Hodges Stadium.