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Tough Loss plus Speed Forfeit Leaves Copperheads in Win or Go Home Territory

A difficult Round 4 Loss has left the Copperheads at a crossroads: Either win the next game to continue their season at the South Championship Play-In Game, or go straight into the offseason and try to make sense of what went wrong.

That’s because a 70-16 loss to the undefeated Jacksonville Axeman on July 16th has left the Copperheads in do-or-die mode ahead of their final regular season game in a rematch against the Axeman on July 30th. As always, none of this is possible without the solid support from Encore Cabinets & Design, KAM Concrete, Booty Builder, Estero Bay Chevrolet and Chiropractic Care & Rehab Center.


This tough match, was made tougher before the ball was even kicked-off thanks to five starters unfortunately not being able to make the trip up with their teammates. First was Johnny Lindsey at the Center Position, Riordan Sweet at the other Center Position, Arnold Mananu at the Hooker Postion, Liam Piggins at the Second Row Position, and Kevonta Moses at the Prop Position. The reasons for their absences varied from Representing their Country or Heritage abroad to injury. Still, this match was all Axeman. It started with the Axeman returning the kick off for the first try of the game, which was an immediate punch to the gut. Then they continued to pour it on making it 18-0 before the Copperheads even got on the board.

Anthony Halikas in the Key Moving Services #7 started off the scoring for the Copperheads, turning a long quick rolling play the ball missed by the new Copperheads Hooker into a dazzling rush in for a score. The score was set-up thanks to two great plays, a loose ball recovery by Rahad Shelton in the KAM Concrete Pumping #12 just after the Copperheads finished one of their first offensive sets with a Halikas kick pinning them back against their own goal line. The dazzle was thanks to Halikas’ quick thinking. He picked it up the from that deep dummy half position made a few men miss and dove in for his first score of the afternoon. Unfortunately, Elian Serre missed the conversion attempt afterward. Making 18 to 4 giving the Copperheads faithful a little hope that it wouldn’t be a lopsided affair nearly 30-minutes into the match.

PHOTO: Anthony Halikas in the Key Moving Services #7 attacking the opposite half and distributing the ball to his teammate

However, the Axemen had other ideas. By halftime, the score was 34 to 4, putting the game just out of reach early even though the Axemen missed a number of conversions.

The next Copperheads came score came off a turnover. A nice display of tackling by a number of Copperheads led to the eventual Axemen fumble, which was picked up by Shane Spring, wearing the Copperheads’ Athletic Training Services #26, who scampered nearly half the distance of the field, past three defenders for the score. Halikas then took over the kicking duties and never missed, adding a conversion for two more points.

PHOTO: Shane Spring in the Copperheads’ Athletic Training Services #26 putting a hit on the Jacksonville Import Player

In the waning moments of the match, after an aggressive rush by Wes Piggins in the Cardio Gym #13 and what could’ve been called a two-on-one strip, fell to the deck at the feet of the quick thinking Lucas Speese in the Cario Gym #19 who was there to pick it up and dive for the score. Halikas of course followed it up with a successful kick.

PHOTO: Lucas Speese in the Cardio Gym #19 making one of many beautiful passes from dummy-half

Even though the Round 4 match finished 70 points to 16 and didn’t go the Copperheads way the team was able to blood in several players in a big way. On debut for the Copperheads was Elian Serre in the #43 at Fullback, James Loehr in the # at Prop, and Jordan Flores in the KAM Concrete Pumping #4 jumper.

PHOTO: Elian Serre in the #43 taking a hit-up with support

In no surprise, Halikas was voted Player’s Player and received 4 Points in his final appearance in a Copperheads #7 Key Moving Services jumper. Followed by Lucas Speese in the Cardio Gym #19 with three points, then the savvy veteran Roderigus Ceaser in the High Gate & Atlanta Renegades #2 jumper, and then not to be left out of the conversation Jay Mombu in the #27 and Shane Spring, wearing the Copperheads’ Athletic Training Services #26 tied for the 4th spot.

GRAPHIC: Standings through Round 4

At the end of four rounds, Wes Piggins leads the Top Players Player standings with eight points. Close behind is Anthony Halikas with seven and Shane Spring with six. However a special shoutout goes to Lucas Speese in the Cardio Gym #19, who has four points. Despite starting the season coming off the bench, Speese then transitioned to Fullback which was entirely new to Speese. Then he recently found himself picking up duties at starting Hooker which has finally put him in his comfort zone and allowed him to finish the Round 4 game strong with the heads up try.

The goal for this season was always to make the playoffs. That’s still a possibility. But the Copperheads have to up their game with the rematch against the Axeman at home. The Copperheads plan to have 4 starters back. The blackout game, which will be the first night game of the season, will be played at the beautiful Stadium at Paradise Coast Sports Complex, and the Community will undoubtedly show up to support the lads in their time of need.

GRAPHIC: Updated Standings Including Miami Speed's Round 5 Forfeit

Below is the information on our next home game.


🆚 The Jacksonville Axemen

🏟️ Paradise Coast Sports Complex

⌚️ 7pm Kickoff (7/30/2022)

🔢 USA Rugby League Round 6

🎟️ Tickets 👉

First 30 to buy $20 Reserved Seating tickets online get our Snake Pit supporter shirt FREE.

Remember anything higher than section "I" stays dry!

Use the Google Forms link by the 25th to have your name added to the Snake Pit supporter shirt (below)!\

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