Jacksonville Axemen Rugby League

Game Report: Week 4 vs Copperheads

The Jacksonville Axemen faced a tough match against the South Florida Copperheads, with both teams going into the game 3-0 for the season. The Copperheads have never beaten the Axemen since the team started in 2018, but they have been steadily improving each year and have been proving to be a force to be reckoned with this season.

As the teams left the locker rooms for warm ups, they were directed to go back due to thunderstorms in the area. Having strict lightning policies in place for player and fan safety, the game was forced to be delayed for 2 hours until the storms had safely moved out of the area.

Kick off started around 9:30pm with the Copperheads receiving the ball. A much improved team this year with skill and numbers, they were able to capitalize on some Axemen penalties and score first putting 4 points on the board. Axemen captain David Washington answered back with a try of his own, and with McCrory’s conversion the Axemen were in the lead 6-4.

The Copperheads were determined to get back on top, and managed to score another try out wide. The conversion was no good but they took the lead 8-6. Then just before the half, a kick from Ryan Bannerot to the left side was missed by a Copperheads player and picked up by Vashon Marrs, who ran it in for his first try of the game. Mason McCrory’s kick was no good and the Axemen went into the half time up by 2, 10-8.

The second half was a very different story than the first, with the Axemen only able to score one more try from Vashon Marrs, to bring the score up to 14. The Copperheads had the Axemen on the defense for the majority of the second half, and were able to capitalize off several penalties and score three more times, making it a 24-14 lead. In the last 5 minutes of the game the Copperheads scored off a penalty kick and got the ball back with the just minutes to go. Then they hammered the final nail in the coffin with one more try as time ran out. The final score was 32-14.

Coach Sean Rutgerson give the credit to the Copperheads for the win. “I’m disappointed in the loss,” said Rutgerson. “We had too many mistakes and weren’t following the basic game plan. Well done to the Copperheads- they showed great team spirit and determination, and deserved the win.”

The Axemen return home for the last regular season home game of the year this Saturday, June 29th. This game is a double header as the Jax AxeWomen take on the New York State Queens in their debut game, and the men play the Atlanta Rhinos. Kick off is 5pm and 7pm at the University of North Florida.