Our first power rankings since the 2015 World Cup mark two years to go until Japan 2019 England lead the chasing pack while Australia and Wales struggle
Cipriani out for eight to 12 weeks with injury suffered against Harlequins Wasps No10 at best fifth in Eddie Joness fly-half pecking order
France bidding for 2023 tournament with Ireland and South Africa French bid leader: I think rugby will die in five-10 years if we do nothing
Empty stadiums threats to the 15-a-side game and the decline of the Springboks and Wallabies means that the possibility of only two teams being genuinely in contention come Japan 2019 is very real
Harlequins prop escapes censure for antics against Wasps at Ricoh Arena England and Lions team-mates had to be pulled apart
The battle of the Sams Simmonds v Underhill niggle at the Ricoh the All Blacks' near perfection Israel Folau's hot streak Dragons firing and Philadelphia spectacle goes flat
Gloucester must learn less is more Denny Solomona presses his England case and the tussle to wear the No13 jersey in the autumn internationals hots up
Only just over 6000 turned up to watch Saracens and Newcastle to illustrate that the Premierships American adventure still has a long way to go
James Haskell sent off for grabbing Marler by the throat Wasps Dai Young incensed by Joe Marler behaviour
How Michael Cheikas side will fare in Bloemfontein against South Africa depends on which of the teams identities turns up on the day
Wasps 21-24 Harlequins Marcus Smith kicks four penalties and conversion
Newcastle 7-29 Saracens Farrell kicks five penalties and a conversion in Philadelphia
Leicester 24-10 Gloucester Tigers score three early tries for first Premiership win of the season
Southern Kings 10-31 Leinster Irish province overcome absence of captain Isa Nacewa to run in five tries
Newcastle will host Saracens in Philadelphia this evening as Premiership rugby aims to gain more marketshare in the USA
Australia scored five second-half tries to rally to their first victory of this years Rugby Championship with a 45-20 win over Argentina at a chilly Canberra Stadium on Saturday Fullback Israel Folau scored tries either side of halftime and Sekope Kepu Will Genia Nick Phipps and Jordan Uelese also crossed to secure a bonus-point victory
Rugby Championship game ends in eight-try whitewash Springboks suffer the heaviest defeat in their history
Wasps director of rugby has taken charge of the scrum and raised standards but Ashley Johnson knows Joe Marler and Kyle Sinckler will be a step up in class
Northampton 24-6 Bath Courtney Lawes Dave Ribbans and George North on scoresheet
Newcastles fixture against Saracens in Philadelphia has not sold out but officials are hopeful that the sport will eventually get a foothold in the US
The Gloucester centre returns to Leicester with plenty of fond memories for the atmosphere at his former clubs ground
Sport has major chance to capitalise on the interest generated by the World Cup the final of which was watched by 26 million people on ITV
Roko-Houdini up to his tricks at Bath Ugo Monye's stray dart a Sea of Blue in Perth the All Blacks unearth a No 6 to fear lineout woes and why Schalk Brits lost his cool
London Irish surprise the pundits as the tries flow a promising start for the new laws Sam Simmonds and Schalk Brits impress mightily and the shirt that doesn't wash
The Premiership kicks off this weekend with a glut of players primed and preened for the season ahead so who is set for a defining season
A look at the recognisable faces from the Sevens World Series who have been brought into top XVs clubs for the season ahead
It will take more than a stint as an unused Lion to get Finn Russell down This feature first appeared in the September 2017 issue of Rugby World
The Celtic League has brought in South Africas Cheetahs and Kings Things will never be the same again This feature first appeared in the September 2017 issue of Rugby World
Find out what's inside the new-look Rugby World for the 2017-18 season
The new LasVegasrugby.org website is here!Monday, 10 February 2014 12:00 am
We're proud to announce...
Our new website is now published, though still undergoing some construction.
Please note that some features are undergoing construction and updates. For example, the "Club Discussion Forum" should be launched in a day or two. This is a private forum for members of our Blackjacks Rugby Club. It will be visible ONLY to registered club members (our private forum).
The "BLOG" will be available for members to make first posts, and for anyone in the public to see and comment on freely... all will be "open-topics" that have no sensitive info. Comments can even be sent to Facebook if you check the box in the left corner of the doalog box.
Blackjacks Club members may request a login: Email Robert at email@example.com . Include your first and last name, and you will be sent a login and password as soon as possible. If you wish to include some famous nickname, feel free.
MIDNIGHT SEVENS!Sunday, 9 February 2014 12:00 pm
CARD FUNDRAISER NIGHT!Wednesday, 19 March 2014 05:36 am
March 22, 2014: D3 Match Report (Blackjacks vs. Belmont)Tuesday, 25 March 2014 12:00 pm
Belmont at Las Vegas (Div. III) March 22, 2014 (Blackjacks vs. Belmont)
---By Patrick Opdyke (Blackjacks "Forward")
Belmont came out strong at the Blackjacks scoring two tries early in the first half. The Blackjacks then recovered the ball on a kickoff and spent a good deal of time in Belmont’s own middle territory, until the ball was lost on a penalty. Belmont gave the Blackjacks an opportunity to score by knocking the ball on on Belmont’s own try line, causing a 5m scrum reset. Belmont’s hooker won the defensive scrum, catching the Blackjacks offguard for a full field try against the Blackjacks. On the reset kickoff, Belmont played a few phases, gaining minor territory in the middle of the field. Attempting to pass wide against the Blackjacks forceful defense, Belmont scrambled a pass, causing the winger to knock the ball on. After some changes of possession and phases back and forth, Belmont chipped the ball ahead and out the back for a Blackjack 5m reset. Blackjacks quickly exited the ball with a kick deep into Belmont territory, which Belmont knocks on, giving the Blackjacks advantage. The Blackjacks capitalized strongly on it gaining 25m, culminating in a tackle into touch. The Blackjacks hold strong against Belmont’s maul off the lineout, ceding no ground. Belmont broke off, breaking the defensive line and drawing a penalty. On the quick tap, Belmont capitalized on the Blackjacks retreat to earn another try. On the kickoff, Belmont makes modest gains with numerous phases, culminating in a big tackle into touch by Trevor. On the Blackjacks lineout, Blackjacks form a maul, pass the ball to the backs for a chip kick for a modest gain. The ball was recovered by Belmont who drew a penalty and quickly tapped the ball to run a few phases up until the try line. Blackjacks scrum half won a loose ball on the ground but did not release, earning a penalty. Belmont took advantage of the quick ball on the try line to score another try.
Early in the second half, Graham grabs a loose Belmont ball deep in Blackjack territory, running straight through a gap in Belmont’s defense to score a full field try. Both teams played strong with much back and forth, trading territory. After a Belmont player ran without support, Pati managed to poach a ball and run for a minor gain in territory. Blackjacks lost the ball and the game resumed with many resets and trading of territory. On a quick tap penalty, Belmont exploits a hole in Blackjacks’ defense, scoring a half-field try. On the kickoff, Belmont knocks the ball on, and Blackjacks play advantage, ending in touch. Belmont won its lineout and forms a maul, which the Blackjacks again kept still. Belmont broke off the maul scoring another try. Off the kickoff, Belmont got a lucky route, breaking some minor arm tackles to score a quick try. The game resumed with the Blackjacks holding Belmont in their own territory and midfield, trading possession on occasion. Belmont kicked for distance, going into touch. A lineout on the 22m line, Blackjacks were called for a not straight throw. Following a quick tap, the Blackjacks were able to hold Belmont, but unable to force any errors or win the ball. After many, many phases, culminating in a presence close to the try line, Belmont found a small hole to dive for a try.
March 22, 2014: D1 Match Report (Blackjacks vs. Belmont)Wednesday, 26 March 2014 02:00 am
Blackjacks vs. Belmont Shore (Men's Division 1), at Las Vegas. March 22, 2014.
---By Robby Castillo (Blackjacks "Back")
This past weekend’s fixture found the Las Vegas Blackjacks hosting the visiting Belmont Shore. What proved to be an exciting match featured momentum shifts and lead changes. It started rather lethargically for the Blackjacks who found themselves trailing at half time by a score that defied what bystanders eventually had witnessed as a hard fought match between two balanced sides. Missed opportunities and inexperienced decisions in the first half cost the Blackjacks the sure points that would have otherwise allowed for triumph.
Belmont drew first blood when a ball that would otherwise have gone out of goal to the dead ball area was touched by a blackjack player. The 5 meter scrum quickly led to a converted penalty. Shortly thereafter, another converted penalty, and it was 0-6 Belmont. The Blackjacks showed signs of life when a well-seasoned Vaha Esikia broke the gain line in a 30m gallop but support lacked and his pass from 5m out found touch. Belmont responded by gaining possession of the lineout and later a score when two Blackjacks players simultaneously delivered blows from opposite sides of a Belmont ball carrier, either one of which on its own would have been sufficient for a tackle. But as it was, the offsetting forces allowed the Belmont player to remain on his feet and slither in for the games first try. The conversion was good, 0-13 Belmont. A deep kick and heavy pressure forced a Blackjacks defender to kick the ball through the dead ball line and the 5 meter scrum led to another Belmont try, conversion failed 0-18.
Later in the first half, after stealing a Belmont lineout, the Blackjacks were able to get on the scoreboard when Left winger “Q” was able to elude Belmont defenders and then off-load to Vaha, who scored easily. Noor Jehanga added the conversion and it was 7-13 in favor of the bad guys. The Blackjacks missed another chance for a score shortly afterwards, when Q’s 50m run ended in a pass that seemed to be of the un-selfish, charitable variety, but it was ultimately knocked on. Belmont scored again and the score was 7-25 at the half, however the game was much closer than the score suggested.
The Blackjacks’ momentum and thus control for most of the second half was sparked by #22’s hard run to the 22m line. A hands call found width to Q for an apparent score but unfortunately, the touch down was not apparent to the ref and his plea fell on deaf ears. The Blackjacks were able to regain possession and threatened with a series of pick and drives on the northwest end of the field near the goal line. Belmont’s defense held stiff, but the Blackjacks got the ball to the winger on the far side who touched it down in the northeast corner. The conversion failed, 12-25, Belmont. Not long after, Steve Allen was able to elude 3 defenders on route to a terrific 50 meter try, where he touched the ball down at the center of the posts. Vaha converted, 19-25. Add a rare fashioned missed penalty kick from the Belmont fly half and the Blackjacks were in clear control of momentum and high morale, with 25 min to play. Steve Allen again found space when he aggressively fended off one Belmont player, then proceeded to outrun the rest. Steve off-loaded to Pati, who scored in the left corner. Conversion failed 24-25.
A Belmont free-kick found touch and a subsequent penalty allowed for #3 Roy Evans to find touch as the sidelines scratched their heads. Belmont stole the lineout and got the ball out wide but Steve Allen was able to drive the offender into touch. The Blackjacks momentum was slightly stalled when a Calvin Randleman hit on a Belmont offender left the poor soul writhing in pain and the ref called for injury time.
Momentum was regained when winger “Q” hit the gas and danced past 5 defenders on route to a long score between the posts. Belmont players sprinkled the field in the aftermath and looked like defeated foes. But in an apparent omen, the ensuing conversion kick hit the right upright and the posts came crashing down. Nevertheless, the Blackjacks had their first lead at 29-25 with 15 min to play.
From there it seemed that the Blackjacks were in control of both game and momentum, but soon afterwards a penalty came when a Blackjacks tackle (helmet to helmet?) forced a Belmont player to be carried off the field. Another injury to a Belmont player meant another delay and these delays worked to Belmont’s advantage as it served to quell much of the Blackjacks momentum. With minutes to go, they regained the lead with a long break and good ball distribution which saw the ball go through the hands of 4 different players. The score and conversion put Belmont on top 29-35 with one minute to play. The ensuing kickoff fell into the hands of Belmont, and after some advance to the Blackjacks 22 meter line, a penalty gave the Blackjacks one final opportunity. Strangely, the Blackjacks seemed to slow the game down, wasting precious moments in a time of urgency. Nothing came of the possession and Belmont added another try in the waning seconds, as they managed to hold off a fierce 2nd half surge from the Blackjacks.
Final: 29-37, Belmont. Yet, spectators had the opportunity to see some exciting rugby and lead changes, and highlights include some inspiring runs by the Blackjacks backfield.
This coming Saturday, the Blackjacks host the San Diego Aztecs in the 2nd of a 3 week home-stand. Social to follow at McMullen’s Irish pub. All are welcome. See you all there.
March 29, 2014 Match Report: Blackjacks vs. Old Aztecs (in Las Vegas)Monday, 31 March 2014 12:00 pm
03/29/2014 Blackjacks vs. Old Aztecs, in Vegas .
Kickoff was at 3.00 pm sharp.
It was a nice sunny, cool day with a friendly breeze blowing on a Saturday afternoon in Vegas, and both teams were ready to grind it out.
Old Aztecs kicked off to the Blackjacks, and the Old Aztecs then worked on getting a feel of what the Blackjacks’ forwards were made of. They learned quickly that their advantage is in their back line. Very quick feet and well-rehearsed plays earn them a first try of the game in the first ten minutes.
In the 15 minute mark of the game, the Old Aztecs scored a second try, a third on the 25 minute mark, a fourth try on the 30th minute, a fifth on the 35th minute mark, a 6th on the 37th minute on an unchallenged ball on a kickoff, and made an easy quick 5 points under the goal post.
The Blackjacks contested on an open, counter attack play on a turnover from the Old Aztecs on the 33rd minute of the game and scored their only try of the first half.
The Old Aztecs had the last say when they fought for the last try of the first half.
First Half score------Black Jacks  vs Oleztk 
All tries were scored by backline plays by both teams.
First half stats:
---BlackJacks, penalties , Olesztk 
---Scrums- BlackJacks received 8 scrums and lost one.
---Scrums- Old Aztecs received 6 scrums and won them all.
---Line outs- BlackJacks threw in 6 line outs and lost one.
---Line outs- Old Aztecs threw in 6 line outs and lost one
THE SECOND HALF
The second half worked like clock-work for the BlackJacks. They were patient on their set pieces and got rewarded with a quick try on the first ten minutes of the second half. They counter attacked on a mistake by the Old Aztecs, and put another 5 points on the board.
On the 20th minute, the Old Aztecs got back in their old ways and a tried for five more points making it 43 points to 17 to the Black Jacks.
At 35th minutes, the Black Jacks worked a hard push by their big forwards and scored a try, 43 Old Aztecs to 22 BlackJacks. One more try went to the Blackjacks.
The Old Aztecs made two quick tries, with both successful conversions against the BlackJacks at the final five minutes of the game.
The FINAL SCORE: Black Jacks  vs Olezstk 
Second half stats.
---Line outs for the Black Jacks- 4, and won them all. Great effort it, shows on the score.
---Old Aztecs had 4 line outs and won them all, but the BlackJacks defended well in the second half.
---Scrums- Black Jacks 2 scrums, won them all.
---Scrums- Old Aztecs - 5 scrums, and won them all
Penalties: The first 20 minutes of the half, Old Aztecs committed 5 penalties and the BlackJacks took advantage of it for 12 points. In the last 15 minutes of the game, the BlackJacks committed 5 penalties and they paid for it by sacrificing 19 points.
Great game Black Jacks, and it’s just an opinion: the team needs to practice together more for those that don't make it to practice. Too many Chiefs in the field, the only one that should be yapping to the ref is the team Captain. Most of all, know your role and do your assigned job first before you do the extra effort. Good luck to you all for the rest of the season!
Ez. Eric Teo, firstname.lastname@example.org