Division I National Champions Las Vegas Black Jacks
Photo by Frank Berta at photo-craft.smugmug.com
For the second year in a row, the Las Vegas Black Jacks found themselves one game away from a national championship. Last year, the Gentlemen of Aspen trounced Las Vegas in the USA Rugby Men’s Division I National Championship Final, and this year Black Jacks were hungry for redemption when they took the pitch to meet Belmont Shore at Infinity Park in Glendale Sunday afternoon.
Four tries and four missed conversions summarized the first half scoring, and the difference in the game at the end of the first forty minutes was a Las Vegas penalty kick that gave the Black Jacks a 13-10 advantage at the half.
|USA Rugby Men's National Championships|
|Sunday, June 6, 2010|
|Division I||Division II|
|St. Louis Royals||14|
In the second half, Las Vegas ran up eleven points to take a commanding 24-10 lead with twenty minutes remaining. A try by Belmont Shore’s Peter Sio closed the gap to a manageable seven points and gave Belmont Shore new life. But the Black Jacks added two additional tries to make the final 36-22.
The win gave the Black Jacks their first Division I National Championship in three trips to the final four since 2006. Las Vegas finished second in 2009 and was eliminated in the semifinals in 2006.
New to Rugby?
Rugby is played in two forty-minute halves with a ten-minute halftime. A try is similar to football's touchdown and is worth five points. A successful conversion (like football's extra point) scores two points. Penalty kicks and drop goals are scored at three points each.