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Don't Sleep on the Speed

In round two the Southwest Florida Copperheads barely escaped defeat in a physical and testing match against South Florida (SoFlo) Speed in Miami Gardens.

(Photo: Jude Kermundu in the Morton & Wasmer Builders #3 jumper forcing the turnover on the sideline)

The Copperheads started out strong despite some significant roster changes, with 5 players from last week's starting side ruled out due to various reasons. Center Jude Kermundu in the Morton & Wasmer Builders #3 jumper got on the board first for the Copperheads, after plowing through a few defenders. Then of course Jude converted his own try with a perfect kick. After a solid defensive set, the Copperheads found themselves immediately knocking on the door again. With the ball inside their 20-meter line, Captain Colin O’Dell in the Key Moving Services #6 jersey bumped off a would-be Speed tackler and dove over the try line to make the score 12-0 after another successful conversion by Kermundu. South African prop Quintus De Bruyn in the unsponsored #10 jumper played another outstanding game. Once again, Quintus easily led the team in carries and run meters, and of course, put himself in for yet another try when the opportunity presented itself inside the Speed's own half.

(Photo: Jean Fortin in the unsponsored #17 jumper taking one of many hard carries right down the throat of the Speed defense) However, the Speed took everything in stride, didn't panic, and scored 4 points before going into the sheds at the half. Halftime Copperheads - 18 Speed - 4 After being up 18-4 at halftime. The Copperheads let off the gas, and South Florida quickly piled on points. After 37-minutes of great offensive footy in the second half, the Speed found themselves on top 22-18 with the wind at their backs.

(Photo: Liam Piggins in the #13 Booty Builder jersey, Kevin Kermundu in the #2 Seaside Bar and Grill jumper two man tackling the Speed ball carrier while Wes Piggins in the #11 Cardio Gym jersey looks on with approval)

However, with a few minutes to go, the wind was nowhere to be found, and the Copperheads rallied and decided to put together one last great offensive set. The forwards ran hard up the middle, had fast play-the-balls, and then the ball made it to the backs on the magical fourth tackle. Right to big Center Jude Kermundu in the Morton & Wasmer Builders #3 jumper, Kermundu burst through the gap in the line from 5 meters out to tie the game at 22-All with no time left on the clock. Then Jude did what he has done so far over his storied career with the Copperheads; he converted his own try at the buzzer to secure the win for the Copperheads. Full-Time Copperheads - 24 Speed - 22 (Apologies for Missing Clips, we will provide a link to the Speed's film once it posts) Roderigus Ceasar's 3 point recipient was Jude Kermundu in the Morton & Wasmer Builders #3 jumper, 2 point winner was Captain Colin O’Dell in the Key Moving Services #6 jersey, and 1 point winner South African prop Quintus De Bruyn in the unsponsored #10 jumper. Also, on debut for the Copperheads were two more debutantes. First was Chris Speese, who will now go down as player #58 just after his son Lucas, who happens to bear all-time player #57 for the Copperheads. The second was Kyle Blochowiak, an Australian who has lived in Southwest Florida for the last few years with his American Wife. Only just learning about the Copperheads at an area gas station the Thursday before the match-up against the Speed. Both Chris and Kyle contributed significantly against the Speed, and provided a much-needed boost to what would have been an even shorter numbered forward pack.

Next Saturday, the Copperheads go back on the road to play the other unbeaten team in the USARL South competition, the Jacksonville Axemen. Details for the game will be announced later this week.

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