Chennai Cheetahs surprised by BARA

BREACHING THE WALL: Chennai Cheetah's Emil Vartazaian (right) goes past the BARA wall.

BREACHING THE WALL: Chennai Cheetah's Emil Vartazaian (right) goes past the BARA wall.  

MUMBAI: : Defending champion Chennai Cheetahs and runner-up Bombay Gymkhana were ousted in the semifinal phase of the 72nd Orange all-India rugby tournament, losing to British Asian Rugby Association (BARA) and Bangalore RFC respectively in exciting matches at the Bombay Gymkhana on Thursday.

Two tries by full back Armaz Hamid, BARA stunned Chennai Cheetahs 29-17 in a pulsating game of power play. The two sides, 10-10 at half-time, went all out after the breather where BARA's experience proved decisive. Cheetahs skipper Emil Vartazarian missed two penalty conversions, after converting one in the 4th minute.

Cheetahs, displaying pace and grit, fought for space in every part of turf, scoring their first try through Hendrik Terchoonian. BARA, spurting to a 24-17 lead at one stage, kept on the pressure towards the closing stages. Bangalore RFC made the final after recovering in style to upstage hosts Bombay Gymkhana 25-22 in the second semifinal.

The results: Semifinals BARA 29 (Amraz Hamid 2 tries, Rashid Mehmood 1 try, Junaid Malik 1 try, Jag Johal 1 try, Benn Kerr 2 conversions) bt Chennai Cheetahs 17 (Henrik Terchoonian 1 try, Emil Vartazarian 1 penalty conv and 1 conv, 1 penalty try) (half-time 10-10).

Bangalore RFC 25 (Taniela Mahe 1 try, John Kendal 2 penalty conv and 2 conv, John Sione 1 try, Tarun Appanna 1 try) bt Bombay Gym 22 (James Hopkinson 1 try, Shahzad Karachiwala 1 try, Naseer Hussain 1 try, Chaitnya Sinh 1 try, Sugimoto Koji 1 conv) (h-t 0-10).

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