Nukes come back to top Las Cruces

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The Los Alamos Nukes rugby club came back from a halftime deficit to knock off Las Cruces at home Saturday.
The Nukes trailed by 3 points at the break, but outscored Las Cruces 17-5 in the second half to win 29-20 at Sullivan Field.
Las Cruces is a relative newcomer to U19 rugby, but Nukes coach Demetrio Cardiel said his team had to overcome more than the halftime deficit.
“Those guys are huge,” Cardiel said. “They have this guy who was 6-foot-4 and 340 pounds and a bunch of other kids who were nearly that size.”
After figuring out how to deal with Las Cruces’ size, Los Alamos was able to take advantage of its opponent’s lack of experience.
Mateo Cardieo scored three tries in the game for the Nukes, while Caleb Johnson tacked on a pair of tries and Diego Cardiel made a pair of conversions.
Los Alamos is hoping to build on its win when it hosts Santa Fe at 7 p.m. April 3. Admission to the Nukes’ home games is free.
“We just played great defense,” coach Cardiel said. “We were able to tackle their big galoots. We played with a lot of passion and played some good rugby.”