Hundreds of rugby lovers gathered together once more this past Saturday at Lehi sports park located in the heart of Mesa Arizona to watch the Red Mountain Warthogs take on the Las Vegas Irish rugby club . Lehi Sports Park is a brand new sports park that opened this year and is the home of the Red Mountain Ruby Club.
Las Vegas Irish,the premier team from Nevada traveled to Arizona driven to revenge last years game result where on home field after dominating most of the game against the Warthogs Gave away the victory in the last seconds of the game . The Warthogs with a newly rebuilt team was eager to test their young athletes against the experienced Irish players for the 1st time this year as they continue to build their future.
Las Vegas, for this game opted for a heavy forwards pack looking to dominate and overpower the smaller mobile Warthogs .The Arizona team opted for yet another fly half for Saturdays game making this the clubs 4th fly half change in four games.
From the 1st whistle of the game, the crowd got what they asked for. The Irish started attacking with basic rugby keeping the ball in the forwards and making their way down field through well angled runs from the big men . In response the Warthog implemented good kicking attacks sending its fast wings down the field and created a lot of pressure. This made the Irish work hard for every meter the gained. Player error on both sides caused a few tries but both teams in general defended and attacked very well keeping the local crowd at the edge of their seats for the whole duration of a very entertaining 1st half . End of minute forty Warthogs 13 Irish 12 .
The Second half was even more intense . Booth teams took advantage of the break to regroup and re organize and they both came back out ready to fight. The Warthogs confidence grew in attack and they started running and moving the ball more . The Irish big men continued their very well structured attacks and collectively dug deep to keep up with the more fit and more mobile Red Mountain . Both teams played "pedal to the metal " all 80 minutes. With only one minute to go it looked like the Las Vegas Irish would go back home with another close defeat from the Arizona team. on the last play of the game the score was 33-29. All Red Mountain had to do is win a line out, maintain possession for about 30 seconds and kick the ball to touch for a hard fought victory . The line out was played. Red Mountain decided to attack one more time and BOOM! THE PASS GETS TIPPED AND INTERCEPTED ball is passed to the outside by a very smart Irish scrumhalf , big Irishman on the reception with Warthogs' defense chasing . BIG RUN , BIG DIVE,BIG SCORE . The Irish score in the corner with zero seconds left on the clock to win a big game in Arizona . Final whistle score Las Vegas Irish 34 - Red Mountain 33.
The game had one of the most epic endings and all of the people present were left with their jaws dropped as they witnessed one of the best quality 80 minutes of rugby anyone could hope for players on both sides played really hard and put on a show the spectators will talk about for a long time .
After the game, the 2 clubs came together and enjoyed pizza and some adult beverages and watch the Red Mountain 2nd XV vs Camelback/ Las Vegas motley Match which gives the up and coming talent a pathway to improve be seen and develop as rugby players.
The 2 teams will meet again , this time in Las Vegas on April 1st and we can only imagine how good that game will be.
Here are a few pictures from the game and the 2nd XV game for your entertainment
the pictures are free to download for all players , their family and friends