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LAU rugby team breaks national record, heads to the final


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The Immortals group before their 11th match against USJ on April 4.


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Hanni Assi on his way to scoring a try for LAU during the match against USJ.


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Robin Hachache tries to avoid the USJ players.


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The Immortals tackle their rival from the University of Balamand (March 6 game).


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Allen Khoury runs to score a try for the Immortals in the match against University of Balamand.


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Ray Finan (1st from left) tries to escape from two Jounieh RLFC players (March 14 game).

Click on any photo above to view all six images

April 22, 2009—

Editor’s note: This story was updated on April 27 to reflect yet another victory.

The Immortals, one of LAU’s most dynamic athletic teams, achieved a record of completing an entire regular season undefeated by beating AUB with a 38–24 score in the Bank of Beirut Rugby League Championship on April 25, in Bhamdhoun.

The five-time national champions have been invincible since the start of the championship in November 2008.

Having won all 12 games, they are now heading to the final on May 16. If they win then, they’ll break their previous record of having been crowned champions for more times than any other team in Lebanon.

“We want to win the championship and continue winning the next season to make it more difficult for any other team to break our record,” said coach Remond Safi, who has been training the team for the past two years.

For the past six months, the 25 players, nine of whom are in the two Lebanese national teams (Liban Espoir and Cedars), have been practicing three times a week. They’re confident that their hard work will pay off.

“We are going to beat any team that will come to the final,” said prop Ray Finan, a member of the team for two years.

According to Sami Garabedian, Athletics Office director in Beirut, this year the Immortals seem more than ever determined to triumph. The players have had “quite an exceptional performance” and had “it in their minds to go through an undefeated season,” Garabedian added.

The ongoing success of the Immortals is due to their team spirit and competitive players. “Their unity has been their forte,” said Garabedian.

Safi said the Immortals “have been longer together than any other team. The other teams’ players come and go.” Those who join the Immortals quickly become friends with the rest of the team, he added.

“If we are not practicing together, we are definitely hanging out” with one another, said loose forward Robin Hachache, who has been playing with the Immortals for four years.   

LAU has been participating in the Lebanese Rugby League Championship since 2002, the first time the event happened. The team won five titles between 2003 and 2006, when the championship had spring and winter seasons.

Since 2007, when the two-season contest was combined into the BOB Rugby League Championship, the Immortals have continued competing against AUB, Jounieh RLFC, Université Saint Joseph, and University of Balamand.


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