Jacksonville Axemen Rugby League

Game Report: Round 6

After nearly a decade of being unbeatable on their home turf, the 121 Financial Jacksonville Axemen just ended a regular season where the difficulty was to win at home. After a regrettable 34-22 loss to the previously winless Central Florida Warriors, the Axemen are looking to get the fire back they had last week in the huge win over the Tampa Mayhem.

The Warriors came out ready to battle, scoring three consecutive tries and lead by 2 points before the Axemen even got on the board. It put Jacksonville in the tough position of playing catch up but they were able to close the gap to 22-16 going into halftime with tries scored by Shaun Timms, Kevin Wathen and David Washington. Sam Dickey was good for 2 of the 3 conversions.

Starting the second half the Axemen came out flat again, allowing the Warriors to extend their lead to 28-16 with another try. A missed penalty kick from Central Florida kept Jacksonville to needing two tries to tie the game, and a converted try from David Washington made it even closer at 28-22 after the 2nd quarter water break. The Warriors sealed the win however, with just minutes left in the game, scoring the final try and bringing the score to 34-22.

“After playing well against Tampa I expected the Axemen to show the same desire and attitude this week being the last regular season game,” said Coach Sean Rutgerson. “It was a very disappointing game with a lack of effort and poor attitude in defense. I’m going to have to make some changes for the playoffs as it’s our last chance. Full credit to the Central Florida Warriors for showing how to play some good footy with desire to win.”

“It was unfortunate that we lost but the focus is still on winning in the playoffs,” said Drew Slover, Axemen Co-Owner and General Manager. “This team is still in the running to win the South and play in the National Championship, and the first step is to regain focus, play to our full potential and win the semi-final.”

The Axemen will now travel to Tampa to take on the Mayhem in the South Conference Semi-Finals on July 29th. In the two encounters versus the Mayhem in the regular season, Tampa beat the Axemen at home by two points (20-18), and then the Axemen beat Tampa on the road 40-6. The matchup is certainly expected to be an exciting game, as the winner will move on the the USARL South Championship.

Photo Credit: Allene Rachal