The 2019 Copperheads Rugby League Football Club has made club history by beating the current #2 USA Rugby League South Conference rival the Tampa Mayhem Rugby League Football Club 32 to 24 in a hard-fought home game.
The Gulf Coast Derby kicked off at 7:30 PM after a 30-minute rain delay which saw the foes playing each other on a heavily saturated pitch. Making wet ball handling a factor throughout the match and ultimately favoring the Copperheads thanks to fewer errors with the football.
In the contest, the Copperheads Derek McVey coached side struck early thanks to a handling error by the Mayhem immediately off of the kick-off thanks to a skilled kick from Jude Kermundu to start off the night. This error from the Mayhem then set up the Copperheads to complete the first set of the evening. This resulted in a 5th tackle kick chased by the entire left side of the Copperheads attack and ultimately touched down in the Copperheads End goal area first by Kyle van Deventer out of the Left Center position allowing the Copperheads to draw first blood. Jude Kermundu ended up barely missing the long left corner conversion kick giving the Copperheads the 4 nil advantage in the first few minutes of play.
The rest of the first half continued to be an arm wrestle between the Copperheads and Mayhem with the wet ball affecting both teams. However, team Captain Arnold Mananu helped keep the Mayhem at bay by adding two heads up tries in the first half with two Jude Kermundu made conversion kicks leaving the scoreline 16 to 12 in favor of the Copperheads as the teams headed into the sheds.
After coming out of the sheds, the Mayhem showed the Copperheads why they where the current number two placed team in South Conference by not giving up when the chips were down and capitalizing on the Copperheads handling errors and gifted field position.
They then posted two more tries and continued to nail all of their conversion kicks. Making the game look almost out of reach. However, the Copperheads responded with a William Huie try, and a converted Jude Kermundu kick early in the second half. Then the game seemed to stall with back and forth completed sets, reciprocal handling errors, all the way up until the last 15 minutes of the game before the Copperheads crept back into the contest. Thanks to a Jude Kermundu try from a bit of distance, however, missing his own conversion from the long right corner keeping it 22 to 24 in favor of the Mayhem.
Then with less than 10 minutes left in the game, Kyle van Deventer decided he wasn't done with scoring. After an impressive 15 meter scamper and lighting fast play the ball by William Huie which ended up putting the entire Mayhem defensive line on their back foot.
This allowed Kyle van Deventer to pick the ball up quickly from dummy-half inside the Mayhem's 30 Meter line and then proceeded to fend and step the Mayhem's defenders. Then to finish his dominant run he beat the opposition Fullback in a foot race and put his 70-meter game-winning try down for the Copperheads right underneath the sticks.
Kyle's dominant run was capped off by a Jude Kermundu conversion kick from right underneath the posts giving your Copperheads the 32-24 win at Home and making Jude 4 of 6 on the day.
This was the first win in the second year club's history. The Copperheads line-up that took part in this historical win are as follows:
First Name Last Name Sponsor Position
William HUIE Stevie Tomato's Sports Page Full Back
Roderigus CEASAR Key Moving Services Right Wing
Jude KERMUNDU Estero Bay Chevrolet Right Centre
Kyle VAN DEVENTER Encore Luxury Cabinets & Design Left Centre
Claudio ORMENO ARGUEDAS Stevie Tomato's Sports Page Left Wing
Jitoko TABUA Chiropractic Care & Rehab Center Stand-off Half
Josh BELL Estero Bay Chevrolet Halfback
Curtis GODDARD PMR Prop
Arnold MANANU (C) Chiropractic Care & Rehab Center Hooker
Jason GROSS Key Moving Services Prop
Colin O'DELL Encore Luxury Cabinets & Design Second Row
Heiko DANNENMANN Chiropractic Care & Rehab Center Second Row
Vincent STEARMAN-CAMACHO Estero Bay Chevrolet Lock
Luke MANNING PMR Forward
Edward PEARCE Elite DNA Therapy Forward
Johnny LINDSEY Chiropractic Care & Rehab Center Back
Derek MCVEY Head Coach
Jeff BARNES LAT, ATC, CSCS Head Athletic Trainer
Christopher GREEN DC Team Chiropractor