Sunday, May 31, 2009 | 5:41 p.m.
The USA Rugby national title eluded the Las Vegas Blackjacks as they fell to the Gentlemen of Aspen, 25-8, in the final of the National Club Championship on Sunday.
The mental and physical fatigue caused by Saturday’s grueling semifinals inspired error-riddled performances from both teams.
The Gentlemen of Aspen scored the opening half’s only points, taking a 5-0 lead into the locker room.
It appeared as if Las Vegas was primed for another comeback when it crossed the goalline just three minutes into the second half. However, officials called it back after they ruled that one of the Blackjacks had stepped out of bounds before the try.
Las Vegas stayed in the game with a penalty kick three minutes later, but began to fall apart when team captain Tom Carter received a 10-minute ejection for stepping on the head of an Aspen player.
Two team members were ejected shortly after Carter’s return.
Aspen took advantage with a 20-0 run.
Las Vegas got a consolation score to end the game when Seta Tuilevuka scored just before the final whistle.