JAX improve at All Florida Day

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Jax RFC traveled down to Tavares, FL for the annual All Florida Rugby Tournament this past weekend.  10 teams were competing in 3 pools.  Jax drew St. Pete Pelicans for their first match at 10am on Saturday.  With a healthy and largest squad in recent years, there were high hopes for the tournament.  Jax came out from the opening whistle with intensity.  Hard, fast defense shut down the Pelicans offensive movements.  Jax used there game plan to a “T”.  Couple quick punches by the forwards and then the ball out to the speedy backs.  The star of the game would have to be 3 try scorer of new fullback Sterling Wynn.  His game breaking speed could not be matched by the Pelicans.  Great work from the forwards in support and rucking as this was our key focus in the game.  Jax came away with the victory 38-0.

The next game in the pool was the winner of Ft. Lauderdale v Naples.  Ft. Lauderdale’s speed in the backs and quick ball around the rucks advanced them past Naples.  The same game plan was put in place, but with an increase in pressure in the backline defense to prevent Ft. Lauderdale from moving the ball.  Jax came out storming with the first hit.  Defense was flying up and disrupting anything Ft Lauderdale had.  A couple small penalties in Jax territory cost them 10 points. A couple adjustments in substitutions were made and fresh legs were the key to sustaining the brutal defense. Fullback Sterling Wynn again added another 3 tries to his stats.   Jax came out victorious, 31-19 and into the Cup Semifinals against #3 seed Sarasota Surge on Sunday.
The final day of the tournament saw muggy, hot, humid conditions at the start.  The first half saw ball possession moving back and forth between Jax and Sarasota.  Due to conditions, some  knock-ons slowed the pace of play for Jax.  Sarasota capitalized on 3 penalties committed by Jax deep in their own territory, resulting in 1 try and 2 penalty kicks.  With a halftime score of 13-0, Jax knew they had to dig deep and bring up the intensity, communication, and defense.  Jax came out exactly what they said they were gonna do from the kick-off.  Some great ball movement was moved through the forwards and then out to the backs with flyhalf Carid Scovill streaking down the sideline to off-load to scrumhalf Captain Chris Potter for the try.  Momentum shifted from there into Jax’s favor.  With time winding down and Jax deep in Sarasota territory, Sarasota committed a penalty in the scrum and a quick tap penalty by the scrum half was enough to put in another try.  With the conversion good, Jax was down 13-12 with 1 minute remaining. Blood pumping and surely ready to put in the winning try, Jax pushed down the field only to have a knock on inside Sarasota’s 22.  And that was all she wrote.  Sarasota ended up winning in the Cup Final but clearly Jax was right there for the taking.  The forwards put together some of the best set pieces in recent years, stealing scrums and lineouts.
Some of the best rugby in years by far from Jax was played.  The matrix season is next up.  Jax is ready to build off a promising fall season.  A big thanks goes out to all that traveled and supported us during the tournament.  See you all for the matrix season.