The foundations of rugby league in Lebanon are well and truly underway, as St Josephs have defeated Namouzaj Public School 36-6, to take out the LRLF 2013 GMEA Schools Championship.
Namouzaj had no luck in emulating the form that saw them take out the Norths School Championship, as they were dominated by St Josephs in a seven-to-one try rout.
It was Josephs halfback Abdo Mallah that starred, scoring a handful of tries and proving a nuisance for the Namouzaj defence.
Praising his side’s new-found toughness, St Josephs coach Nayed Abi Said highlighted the game as one of the toughest his side has played all year.
“I thought it was the toughest we’ve played all season. When you play in finals, you always have borderline contests, but that’s the game and that’s how physical you’ve got to play. You’ve got to test those boundaries sometimes, so the guys certainly put their bodies on the line in the first quarter and they set it up for the rest of the match,” said Said.
We didn’t focus on too much during the week, apart from getting our starts right, and to do that you’ve reviews of electronic cigarettes got to be able to bring a physical presence, because we knew they were going to bring it to us.
He added, â€œI am extremely pleased for the players, the supporters and the entire schoolâ€.
Despite the heavy loss, Namouzaj coach Nader Mgheit was pleased with his side’s effort and says the scoreline does not reflect their actual effort during the game.
â€œThe boys will take plenty of positives out of the game,” said Mgheit.
“The score doesnâ€™t show the true effort of the boys as I didnâ€™t even know if we were going to have enough players to field a team today because of the crises in the Tripoli area. Some of the boys had to sneak alone the streets under sniper fire just to get to the pickup point, while others just couldnâ€™t risk it.â€
Mgheit also praised captain Omar Marhaba, who he believes was their best player in a game that may have been different had he not played.
â€œIf it wasnâ€™t for Omar, we wouldnâ€™t have turned up today as he rounded them up one by one,” said Mgheit.
“They are all winners in my eyes.â€