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LAU’s rugby team wins national championship again

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LAU's rugby team, The Immortals, are crowned national champions, May 14.

June 3, 2011—

LAU’s rugby team, The Immortals, won the national championship for the seventh time in the league’s nine-year history, finishing the season undefeated for the second time in a row last month.

The team retained its last year’s title, becoming the first Lebanese team to have remained undefeated in the league for two consecutive seasons, and breaking the record (with 34 games) for going undefeated during consecutive regular seasons.

The LAU Immortals beat the AUB Redbacks for the title after an eventful final, which was played in stormy conditions, ended with a score of 16–8, on May 14, at Bhamdoun municipal field.

The team’s world-class performance comes to prove that the game is in a good shape in the country, according to LAU Beirut Director of Athletics Sami Garabedian.

The LAU Immortals have reaped the rewards of having a unified and largely consistent squad, Garabedian says. “Most of the players have been together for a number of years and their togetherness, fighting spirit and mission were testament to another great achievement,” he explains.

In early May, the LAU Immortals also clinched their first international title in RL 9’s tournament organized by the Czech Rugby League Association in Pardubice, Czech Republic. Six teams from Lebanon (LAU and AUB), the Czech Republic and Serbia competed in the tournament.

Head coach Remond Safi admits he was surprised with the unprecedented achievement. “We weren’t expecting to win the RL 9’s international tournament but the team performed well.”

Safi believes the team can continue to add to its trophy cabinet in the future and intends to give his players extra training sessions to ensure long-term success.

“The players want to have another undefeated season, so we have to do extra sessions. We’ve reached the top but it’s always difficult to stay there,” Safi says.

Next season, the LAU Immortals will have the chance to beat the all-time world record of an undefeated run during regular seasons including grand finals that currently stands at 31 games. The record has been held by Wigan RLFC, an English club, since 1942, but the LAU Immortals are closing in on it, having been undefeated for 24 back-to-back official games since 2009.

The Athletics Department will strive to ensure that the team builds on its past achievements, says Garabedian.

“We have had other success stories this past year, something we are very proud of, and the Athletics Department and its staff will spare no effort to make all the resources and conditions available to have more successes in the future,” Garabedian says. He adds: “Our plans never stop for any of our varsity teams; we always strive for more success and the years to come will be no different.”

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This is the seventh time the LAU Immortals become national champions in the rugby league’s nine-year history.
 


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