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Air Force Repeats as 2005 Armed Forces Rugby Champion

Special to American Forces Press Service

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C., Nov. 2, 2005 – Air Force cruised Navy 46-14 in the championship match of the 2005 Armed Forces Rugby Championship Oct. 21. The win gave the Air Force their second consecutive Armed Forces Rugby crown.

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An Air Force player stiff-arms a Navy player during a match at the 2005 Armed Forces Rugby championship at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Oct. 17-22.
  

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The match was a repeat of the 2004 championship, in which Air Force defeated Navy 23-12.

The competition was wide open after the first day of round-robin play Oct. 19. Air Force had been the favorite heading into the tournament after winning the 2004 Armed Forces Rugby Championship. The Marines rewarded the hometown fans in attendance with a huge 16-15 victory over the defending champion, Air Force. Later in the day, the Marines were forced to take on a fresh Army team that was playing in its first game. Though the Marine's dominated most of the game, a few "mental mistakes" cost them dearly and Army prevailed 14-6.

In other first-day action, Navy defeated Coast Guard 24-19 as they scored in the final seconds of the match. Air Force proceeded to handle Navy 22-6 in their initial encounter. In the final game of the day, Coast Guard and Army played to a 12-12 draw.

The second day of competition started just like the first day, with the Marines again winning the first match. This time the Marines defeated the Coast Guard 5-0 in a hard-fought contest. Air Force crushed Army 40-8 in the second match, and Navy held on to defeated the Marines 35-17, after leading 35-0 at the half.

The championship stage was set after the Air Force clobbered the Coast Guard 37-0 on the final match of the day. The Marines would play the Army in the consolation match, and the Air Force would be matched-up against the Navy in the championship match.

The Marines avenged an earlier loss by defeating the Army 32-7 in the consolation match.

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Click photo for screen-resolution imageNavy players gang up on an Air Force player during a match in the 2005 Armed Forces Rugby Championship at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Oct. 17-22.  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageArmy (right) and Coast Guard players line up during a match in the 2005 Armed Forces Rugby Championship at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Oct. 17-22.  
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