Axemen Secure Home Field Advantage
Photo Credit: Allene Rachal
By Brian Lowe, Senior Editor rugbyleagueplanet.com
The Jacksonville Axemen have seemingly re-discovered their dominating form of past seasons with another win against the defending USA Rugby League (USARL) national champion Tampa Mayhem in their last home game of the regular season.
The Axemen posted a gritty 36-26 victory over the Mayhem in Round 6 of the South Conference schedule to secure home field advantage for the upcoming playoffs.
The lead changed hands several times during the match, but the home team managed to score the last two tries of the contest to come from behind to get the W.
Fullback David Washington led the way for the Axemen with five tries in the game. Other try-scorers included wingers Vashon Marrs and James Williams. Five-eighth Luke Findlay kicked four conversions to round out the scoring.
“We started slow with a few errors, but kept at it and showed some good spirit,” says Jacksonville’s head coach Sean Rutgerson.
“We ended up with a good win.”
Tampa led 16-4 at the main break but couldn’t maintain that form in the second forty.
“It was very close the entire game,” says Mayhem head coach David Ulch. “It was the best game offensively for us all season.
“We gave up 32 points in the second half and that’s just unacceptable for us. We have three weeks to make our adjustments and go back up to Jacksonville for a competitive South final.”
It was Jacksonville’s second straight win against the Mayhem this season.
In the other scheduled South Conference game, the South Florida Speed forfeited against the Southwest Florida Copperheads.