The American University of Beirut Junior Varsity team hosted AUL in the Collegiate Rugby League Division 2 Championship Final at the Charles Hostler Student Center in Beirut. The match is the culmination of the CRL Division 2 Championship, where the winner qualifies to the CRL Playoffs Semi Final 2.
Unbeaten in 2017, AUB Junior Varsity looked to clinch back-to-back championships against a determined AUL side who were successful in beating LIU Tripoli to earn a spot in the final.
AUB Junior Varsity scored first through a well worked backline move giving winger Max Monteil space out wide to use his fancy footwork and score in the 12th minute. The lead was short lived with AUL scoring in the 16th minute, AUL player Elie Lattouf breaking the line from the scrum and scoring under the posts to tie the game.
AUB Junior Varsity fullback, Haitham Fayçal, put the hosts in front in the 33rd minute, juggling the ball over the try line to take the scoreline to 12-6 at half time.
The second half was a scrappy affair, with both teams committing countless knock-on’s as the full time whistle loomed. Following an error from the AUB Junior Varsity full back, AUL player Robert Tahish scored under the posts from a kick to tie the game with 13 minutes to go.
The tie breaker came from the CRL Division 2 Final Man of the Match, Omar El Hout, scoring an individual try from the back of the scrum dragging 5 AUL players to put the ball down in the far right corner in the 70th minute of the final. AUB Junior Varsity held on in the final ten minutes to secure the CRL Division 2 Final 18-12.
Sol Mokdad, AUB Junior Varsity Head Coach said, “I am extremely proud of these young men and the victory they produced today. It wasn’t pretty and we have a lot of work to put in to sharpen up our basics, but they got the job done and they should be happy with the result.”
“Taking a team new to rugby league and beating a more experienced side in such a big game will only add value to our programme here at AUB. It will ultimately drive the recruitment of young athletes to rugby league in Lebanon.” added Mokdad.
AUB Junior Varsity will now face the third placed team from the CRL Division 1 Championship.
Referee: Robin Hachache
Touch Judge: Rodrique Jbeily, Lara Saab
4th Official: Fred Beaini
Team: AUB Jv
H. Faycal, M. Montiel, J. el Mawas, J. Halab, I. Barghout, F. abara, K. Mahdi, G. ekmekji, D. Mansour, M. Nahlawi, K. saad, O. el Hout, A. Ramlawi, Subs: D. Kfoury, M. ahmad, A. Zakka, H. Slieman
T. Wheibe, S. Mbarak, R. Tahech, M. Azar, C. Eid, E. asmar, M. Slameh, K. Zgheib, G. Sarkis, E. Fahat, D. Abdel Hadi, M. Rahi, E. bou Lattouf, Subs: W. Doumit, K. Kanj, M. Salibi, N. Sobeh