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Vegas HS Team Impressive over Tourists

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Vegas HS Team Impressive over Tourists

Black Hawks in black and white. Killer Imaging photo.

The Black Hawks HS Rugby Club out of Las Vegas, a new team this year, hosted Cranbrook HS out of Sydney, Australia this week, and won in a thriller.

It was an impressive victory for Black Hawks, and Coach Leonard Nell said he was exceedingly proud of his team's performance.

When Kevin Lee of Tour Time America, based in Scottsdale Ariz., proposed that Cranbrook would play the Black Hawks, Coach Nell jumped at the opportunity to have his boys play against a team that carried such a reputation.

Cranbrook High School Rugby is home to an elite team of rugby players that range from Elementary aged players up through High School. Based in Australia this elite team has deep roots in rugby that span over 12 years for most of their players.

On a brisk and blustery morning on April 16, 25 MPH winds blew along the pitch. With just an hour before kick off we receive a phone call that Cranbrook would not be available for the match at 10 am. Struggling with the reasons why and ways to solve the problem, we concluded that our players would need to play someone! After much debate and calling on other local teams we decided to split our team up into two groups for a 10s match. Disappointed, the Black Hawks played a spirited match.

Shortly after that match ended, we received a phone call requesting that, if possible we move the match against Cranbrook to 6 pm. While it took some push on the part of Coach Leonard the match was arranged, the refs were in agreement and we rushed home to wash our soiled jerseys. After all we can’t play a team that has flown so far around the world in dirty jerseys!

Unfortunately not all of our players were available so we had to call on the help of one of the other local rugby teams in Vegas…The WILDCATS! Three of the Wildcats players were available to assist so the match was on.

West Point Camp

Arriving back on the pitch close to 5 pm we prepped our players and the three Wildcats for their positions on this newly constructed team of 15. We were left with only 1 reserve. 

Not too long after we claimed our section on the sidelines did the first bus arrive with the Cranbrook players. One by one they exited the bus and made their way onto the pitch. We were surprised because they appeared to be so young. Within minutes another bus arrives and with it 30 more players of varying ages. These were to be the boys we would go up against. 

Our boys took the field and soon Cranbrook was to follow. Even though we were down 7 of our key players due to the requested time change, we were confident that we could deliver a victory. The Black Hawks kicked off and it took a while for the hosts to find their footing. Cranbrook looked the more polished and scored an unconverted try. Then Cranbrook came back with another, and it was 10-0.

Photos by Killer Imaging
Black Hawks Vegas - Killer Imaging

Frustrated with their performance the Black Hawks finally found their grove claiming the pitch and dominating for the rest of the match. The Hawks delivered six tries, all converted, to win 42-10. Mac Tebbs was the top scorer for the day with three tries. Omri Nell, Zach Melson, and Mason Bertsch on a crowd-pleasing interception, also scored, and Jaron Cannon converted all of them.

It was, after all the drama, an impressive outing for the Black Hawks.

More on the Black Hawks here

Photos by Killer Imaging
Black Hawks of Vegas - Killer Imaging
Black Hawks of Vegas - Killer Imaging