The Saskatchewan Rush’s championship defence started on a losing note on Saturday night as they fell 18-10 to the Georgia Swarm in their opening game of the 2017 National Lacrosse League season.

The offence went cold for the Rush in the second half as they couldn’t keep pace with the Swarm, who outscored them 10-3 over the final two quarters of action.

Saskatchewan trailed 4-3 after the first quarter before they exploded for four straight goals in the first 6:36 of the second quarter to take a 7-4 lead. The Swarm answered back with four goals of their own to lead 8-7 at halftime.

Three consecutive goals from the Swarm to open the third quarter put a stake in the Rush as they couldn’t find a way to respond with just one goal in the frame.

Georgia sealed the win with six goals in the four quarter.

Mark Matthews led the way for the Rush with three goals and five points, while Robert Church and Adam Jones potted two goals and three points each. Curtis Knight chipped in with a goal and three points in the loss.

For the Swarm, Lyle Thompson had a massive game, scoring twice and adding six assists, while his brother Miles Thompson finished with four goals and five points.

The Swarm also feature another Thompson brother in Jerome, while Jeremy Thompson is on the Rush, marking the first time that four brothers have faced off in an NLL game.

The Rush will try to bounce back from their season opening loss when they head back out on the road coming up this Saturday to battle the Rock in Toronto. Their home opener is on Jan. 21 against the Rochester Knighthawks.

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