Asia Rugby Championship 2017 Div 3 , what will arguably be one of the tightest championships in the history of Asia Rugby, Lebanon triumphed in the Division III West Championship today at Dustlik Stadium in Tashkent with a hard fought 24-24 draw with hosts, Uzbekistan.
Both teams entered the final round robin match with an eye on the crown after earlier results saw Uzbekistan draw with Iran 13-13 and Lebanon edging Iran with a final minute penalty kick from the sideline to clinch a 25-24 victory. And with 20 minutes left in the final match, it looked all but certain that Lebanon had the title in their hands as they controlled the game and the score board leading 24-10 through tries to Touma, El Chami and Bachour.
This control looked ever-more assured a couple of minutes later as Uzbekistan’s centre, Rustam Namirov received a second yellow card forcing the home team to play the final 17 minutes with 14 men. However, the numerical disadvantage seemed to spur the home side out of their slumber as they scored two quick consecutive tries by Bogachkin and Akramov and level the scores at 24-24 with 7 minutes left in a tense finish.
With the home crowd becoming more and more vociferous, Lebanon, through their captain Karim Jammal steadied the ship, kicking the ball long at every chance and played the game in the Uzbekistan half limiting the home sides attacking chances as they looked to defend stoically, knowing that a draw would be enough to clinch the title.
As the final whistle blew, Lebanon erupted in triumph, satisfied with the result, but not with the quality of rugby on display as they knew that they nearly squandered an almost unassailable lead.
Division III West Championship
|1||1st Half – 2 mins 12 Secs||Try by Joseph TOUMA of Lebanon||UZB 0-5 LBN|
|2||1st Half – 8 mins 08 Secs||Penalty by Maxsim LIFONTOV of Uzbekistan||UZB 3-5 LBN|
|3||1st Half – 10 mins 48 Secs||Penalty by Karim JAMMAL of Lebanon||UZB 3-8 LBN|
|4||1st Half – 17 mins 08 Secs||Penalty by Karim JAMMAL of Lebanon||UZB 3-11 LBN|
|5||2nd Half – 1 mins 30 Secs||Try by Semyon LAVRENTYEV of Uzbekistan||UZB 8-11 LBN|
|6||2nd Half – 0 mins 00 Secs||Conversion by Maxsim LIFONTOV of Uzbekistan||UZB 5-11 LBN|
|7||2nd Half – 4 mins 44 Secs||Penalty by Karim JAMMAL of Lebanon||UZB 10-14 LBN|
|8||2nd Half – 4 mins 00 Secs||Rustam NAMIROV of of Uzbekistan received a Yellow Card||UZB 10-11 LBN|
|9||2nd Half – 10 mins 48 Secs||Try by Firas EL CHAMI of Lebanon||UZB 10-19 LBN|
|10||2nd Half – 16 mins 30 Secs||Ramazan ALLAEV of of Uzbekistan received a Yellow Card||UZB 10-19 LBN|
|11||2nd Half – 22 mins 00 Secs||Try by Rony BACHOUR of Lebanon||UZB 10-24 LBN|
|12||2nd Half – 24 mins 01 Secs||Rustam NAMIROV of of Uzbekistan received a Yellow Card||UZB 10-24 LBN|
|13||2nd Half – 28 mins 20 Secs||Try by Dmitriy BOGACHKIN of Uzbekistan||UZB 15-24 LBN|
|14||2nd Half – 29 mins 17 Secs||Conversion by Maxsim LIFONTOV of Uzbekistan||UZB 17-24 LBN|
|15||2nd Half – 30 mins 57 Secs||Try by Shohruh AKRAMOV of Uzbekistan||UZB 22-24 LBN|
|16||2nd Half – 32 mins 28 Secs||Conversion by Maxsim LIFONTOV of Uzbekistan||UZB 24-24 LBN|
|22 Apr – 3 Jun||Asia Rugby Championship 2017||Hong Kong . Japan , Korea|
|14 May – 20 May||Asia Rugby Championship 2017 Div 1||Ipoh Padang, Ipoh, Malaysia|
|15 Nov – 18 Nov||Asia Rugby Championship 2017 Div 2||Taipei Municipal Stadium, Chinese Taipei|
|25 Mar – 31 Mar||Asia Rugby Championship 2017 Div 3W||Dustlik Stadium, Tashkent, Uzbekistan|
The originally named Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) was founded in 1968 and now has 31 member unions across the length and breadth of the continent. Participation, together with the number of competitions over the past decade, has increased significantly, with now over 30 rugby events taking place each year.
The men’s 15’s Asia Rugby Championship (ARC), began in 1969 as the Asian Rugby Football Tournament (ARFT), and was, at that time, one of the oldest international Rugby tournaments in the World. The highly respected, ground-breaking, Asia Rugby Sevens Series (ARSS) is held over 3 legs and features the best 8 men’s and women’s teams in the Region. The ARSS is supported by the Asia Rugby Sevens Trophy series which incorporates promotion and relegation. In addition, Asia Rugby also stages Age Grade competitions for male and female players.