Army exact revenge; win maiden All India title

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Mumbai, Sep 29 (UNI) Army Red avenged their loss in the previous year's final to beat the then victors Chennai Cheetahs 12-5 and win the 74th Vodafone Essar All-India&South Asia Rugby Tournament played at the Bombay Gymkhana here today.

In the Plate final, Bangalore beat Delhi Hurricanes 31-9.

The Army team which had been up for the last few years, were all pumped up on today in a rematch of the final of the 73rd edition.

Army used their power to good effect and were pushing the Chennai Cheetahs back. Immense pressure on the Chennai side produced a 5 meter scrum. Army pushed the Cheetahs back and their captain V Hemanth Kumar reached out and scored the try. The conversion was taken by Sujai Lama but his kick did not even threaten to go between the posts.

Deep into first half, the two sides battled it out with the Cheetahs having their backs to the wall. A mistake in the defense allowed Lama to pick up a loose ball and score a try, without being challenged.

The second half saw the Cheetahs came close to scoring for the first time in the match, but an alert Army side got rid of the loose balls to stop any Chennai attack. Chennai were given a lifeline midway through the second half when Ganesh snuck through to register his sides first try of the game. After missing the conversion, the Chennai captain Emil Vartazarian tried a few drop goals but missed all of them. Army held on to win their first All India and South Asia Rugby title.

''Today was a fantastic team performance that helped us win. All the boys lifted their game and that was the difference between the two teams,'' said Army captain V Hemanth Kumar.

Results: Plate Final: Bangalore 31 (Puneet 2 Tries, Ady Spencer 1 Try&3 conversions, Amos 1 Try, Thimmaiah 1 Try) bt Delhi Hurricanes 9 (Deepak Dagar 3 Penalties).

All India&South Asia Final: 12 (Sujay Lama 1 Try&1 conversion, V Hemanth Kumar 1 Try) bt Chennai Cheetahs 5 (Ganesh).


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