Tampa and Atlanta Advance to Southern Conference Championship

Tampa, FL – Following their victories in the first round of the Southern Conference (SC) USA Rugby League (USARL) playoffs, the Tampa Mayhem (4-2-1) and the Atlanta Rhinos (6-0-1 after Saturday win over the Central Florida Warriors) have advanced to play for the Southern Conference Championship on Saturday, 12 August, in Atlanta, GA. The winner of the SC game will advance to play for the USARL National Championship..
Tampa and Atlanta Advance to Southern Conference Championship

Tampa Takes Control of Jacksonville Contest

After allowing the Axemen to score the opening try and conversion of the matchup, the Mayhem scored 18 unanswered points to take control of the Tampa v. Jacksonville contest.  The three tries and conversions gave the Mayhem an 18-6 advantage going into halftime.

Following the 18 unanswered points prior to halftime, the Tampa Mayhem scored three more tries and conversions, taking a 36-6 lead over the Jacksonville Axemen with 20 minutes left in the game. While Jacksonville rallied in the closing minutes of the matchup, Tampa prevailed, winning the contest against the Axemen 42-22.

With the team’s win Saturday, Tampa secured its first winning record in the club’s four-year history.  The victory also allowed the Mayhem to advance into the second round of the playoffs for the first time in the team’s four seasons with the SC USARL.

Both Clubs Provide Commentary Following the Game

I had the opportunity to speak with leaders of both clubs following Saturday’s game – Mayhem Head Coach Matthew Cook and Axemen General Manager (GM) Drew Slover.

Coach Cook’s post-game commentary:  It [the game] was a good effort.  We [Tampa Mayhem] started strong, good game all around.  We found a way to defend against making mistakes.  I’m proud of the boys.  We are going to Atlanta in two weeks [12 August] where hopefully we can finish the job and host the National Championship.

GM Slover thoughts on the Axemen’s loss:  Obviously, we [Jacksonville Axemen] are disappointed we didn’t win.  We just didn’t play up to our full potential.  It’s [the game] unfortunate, but we had a tough season.  We are going to start planning for next year.  Good luck to Tampa in Atlanta.  They have a good game.  We hope the winner can represent the South [SC USARL] well in the [USARL] National Championship.  Hopefully one of the two teams, Tampa or Atlanta, can pull out the win and give us [SC USARL] our first national championship.