Slayers ward off tenacious Rebellion side

On a warm Saturday at 2:30 pm in front of a crowd exceeding 100, the Slayers took the field for their first home match at Duke Ellington Field against the Rhode Island Rebellion.

Photo supplied by Jennifer Bentley (

The Slayers came out strong and early in the first quarter, Five-Eighth Aaron Cook found a hole in the Rebellion defense and went in for the Slayers first try and converted. Soon afterwards, Aaron again found the try line and converted. Everything seemed to be going for the Slayers when the Rebellion center intercepted a pass and took it 80 yards for the try and conversion. After a Rebellion turnover, the Slayers marched down the field and Hooker Tim Douglas took the play the ball and leaped in for the try from the 1 yard line. Just prior to the half, Aaron Cook reacting to the Rebellion’s mistake made a chip kick over the defense and found the try zone for the third time in the half and converted. At the half, the Slayers led 24-6.

Coming out of the half, the Rebellion capitalized on the Slayers lapse moment and ran the kickoff back for a try and conversion. The Slayers got the ball back and were driving when the Rebellion defense blocked a kick after the fifth tackle and took it in for the try. The Slayers rallied and Lock Mao Laumoli broke the line for a 50 yard run; Aaron Cook ran in support and took the offload from Mao to score his fourth try on the day and conversion. The Rebellion capitalized on another Slayer turnover for a try and conversion. In the fourth quarter, Prop Hannibal Vaivoa made a thundering 20 yard run for the try with Aaron Cook converting. With under a minute left, the Rebellion found the try line but missed the conversion. The Slayers held on to win the match 36-28.

For the Slayers, several players made their case for Man of the Match. Locks Dain Bentley and Mao Laumoli had huge runs along with massive hits in defense, Second row Trevor Peterson had his usually strong match along with Props Jack Dunn and Jaron McLaurin. In the backs, centers Asa Jearld and Young Woo were solid on both offense and defense. Honorable mention go to Wing JJ Velez for his incredible goal line stop. However, for the entire 80 minutes, whether on the field or off, Second Row Andrew Payne elevated his game and rallied the team around his play. He was unanimously selected as Man of the Match. “We all knew Andrew was capable of the type of game he had today. Today he brought it”, said Coach Danny Hanson. Captain Tim Douglas offered, “The Rebellion are a much better team than their record indicates. They are going to continue to grow into a formidable force in the USARL.”

Next up, the Slayers take on the New Haven Warriors at Duke Ellington Field, 25 June at 2pm.

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