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Vegas over Boulder - MLR

The Las Vegas Blackjacks scored an impressive 54-26 victory over Boulder in Week 5 of the Major League Rugby Tri-Series competition. The game was played in very warm conditions in the desert which took their toll on both sides late in the match.

Vegas jumped out of the blocks strongly and grabbed an early 14-0 lead on the back of tries by winger Cosmo Larrison and halfback Scott McDonald.

Both scores were set up by efficient rucking at the breakdown by the Blackjacks forward pack. Boulder hit back with an unconverted try by their scrumhalf when he made a very nippy break around the ruck and touched down over the goal line to cap off a great individual effort.

Minutes later, another brilliant individual effort by the Boulder fullback led to the visitors' second try. He instinctively intercepted a wild pass from Blackjacks five-eighth Dallas Orchard and returned it the distance of the field for the score. That pulled the contest to within 2 points, 14-12 to Vegas.

Another two tries to Las Vegas and one more to Boulder moved the score to 26-19 in favor of the Blackjacks at halftime.

The second half provided a mixed bag for both teams. At times they played beautiful, wide open rugby, but at others, the game was marred by unforced errors on both sides of the ball.

The battle was won up front in the second period with the Las Vegas forward pack, led by the front row and consistent lineout ball by Sidney Drodgori, gradually wearing down the valiant Boulder side. The sustained possession enabled the Vegas backline to capitalize on some great opportunities.

Las Vegas clinched second place in Group 8 with the victory, although the final scoreline of 54-26 wasn't necessarily a true reflection of Boulder's performance as the Colorado side was always competitive.

Boulder traveled to Nevada's gambling Mecca with two full sides showing what the spirit of rugby is all about. Playing two matches is not only in the best interests of rugby, but also allows other committed players, who spend a lot of time training, to experience the game and challenge themselves to gain a position in the 1st XV - great work Boulder!

In other games, Scioto Valley pasted the Atlanta Renegades 52-20 and the New York Athletic Club topped White Plains 31-18.