Rhinos undefeated run comes to an end in final of Southern 9s
The Atlanta Rhinos have fallen one game short of being crowned USARL Southern 9s champions after falling to the Central Florida Warriors 20-0 in the championship final at Hodges Stadium.
The boys from Atlanta proved too strong for all comers in the group stages going through undefeated with wins over Tampa, Jacksonville and eventual champions, Central Florida. They then accounted for Tampa with a come from behind semi-final win.
The loss wasn’t the only disappointed for Atlanta with Ha
lf Back Richie Krueger suffering what appears likely to be a season ending broken leg in the semi-final victory over Tampa.
Despite losing the final, Coach Jordon Smedley was pleased with his side’s performances.
“Overall we got what we needed to out of the 9’s” Smedley said. “Although we were disappointed to lose in the final, it gave us an opportunity to get some match fitness under our belts in what was a tough schedule, have a look at a few players and have some fun together before our season opener this weekend”. Smedley also highlighted the blow of losing Krueger. “To lose Richie is devastating for himself and all of us as a group. He has trained well at 7 for us and was having a great tournament. We will get around him now and be supportive in his recovery and fingers crossed we see him back late in the season. As unfortunate as it is, we are fortunate to have some depth to cover him and this will allow another one of the guys an opportunity to come into the side.
The Rhinos will commence the 2017 USARL season on Saturday June 3rd when the host they Jacksonville Axemen at Atlanta Silverbacks Park. Kick Off is at 5pm with a 9 a side curtain raiser commencing at 4pm. Merchandise and concessions available at the stadium.
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