Kangaroos drop to 6-3 with home loss to Columbus (9-2)
The Nashville Kangaroos 2015 USAFL season started with Nashville’s first ever loss at the John Harrell Memorial Cup Tournament in Louisville. The Columbus Jackaroos cruised back to Ohio with a trophy that many Roos felt belonged in Nashville for perpetuity.
On May 30, the Nashville Kangaroos narrowly defeated the Columbus Jackaroos by 8 points in a very low-scoring struggle in Columbus. The entire USAFL noticed, with the Kangaroos rocketing up in the USAFL Top 20 Poll. The Chicago Swans also gained in Poll 4 from a tough, competitive game at Elmington Park.
Since then, the Jacks have won every contest except for a Central Regional Championship game against Dallas. The Jacks jumped in Poll 7 when they defeated the Swans in Chicago. Columbus then took a very strong team to Philadelphia on August 29 and dominated with a 56 point victory to wrench themselves out of a tie for 11th with Nashville.
Columbus and Nashville were ranked 11th and 12th in the most recent USAFL Top 20 Poll on September 10th, and they met again on September 12th at Elmington Park. The game went according to the Jackaroos’ plan from the first bounce, and they won in Nashville for the first time in their 8-year history. Columbus played a similar game plan to Nashville but executed it better, and they showed athletic conditioning through to the final whistle.
There were hopeful signs for the Kangaroos. They are in the early stages of changing their style of play, and some elements of that transformation were on display. With an eye to the USAFL National Championship Tournament, the Roos have five weeks to practice their new plays and further develop their strategy, including a great opportunity in Atlanta on September 26th.
Nashville Kangaroos 3.5 (23)
Columbus Jackaroos 11.11 (77)
Goals: Eric Toepfer, Nathan Caldwell, Cliff Cosnahan.
Both the Jackaroos and the Kangaroos now look to the final 2015 USAFL Top 20 Poll on September 30th for an indication of their likely seeding at Nationals. The Jackaroos can reasonably expect a top seed in Division 2, perhaps even a top 8 ranking with opportunity to play in Division 1.
The outlook for the Kangaroos is more clouded. The Boston Demons, Sacramento Suns and Chicago Swans are all a few votes behind and looking to improve. Each can stake their claim to overtake Nashville in games against highly ranked opponents on September 19th.