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Army-Navy rugby match rescheduled

Army team will use two extra weeks to work on conditioning in preparation for the annual rivalry

Published: 12:28PM November 15th, 2012
Army-Navy rugby match rescheduled

Ingrid Barrentine/Northwest Guardian 2009

The 14th annual Army-Navy Rugby Match has been rescheduled for Dec. 1. The match will be played at Cowan Stadium the day after the Army-Navy flag football game.

Originally scheduled for today, the 14th Annual Army vs. Navy rugby match is rescheduled for Dec. 1.

Army will host the contest at Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s Cowan Stadium at noon. The match will be played the day after the annual Army vs. Navy flag football game, also at Cowan Stadium.

The rugby match was postponed because Navy had a week left in its club season. The club has a match scheduled for Saturday and coaches weren’t sure they could field a team today.

Army has dominated the annual matchup with Navy, winning every year except 2010. Coached by Nick Punimata and Dominic Budzisz, JBLM has been practicing three nights a week in preparation for the match. Punimata has been involved with rugby for more than two decades, and this year he was an assistant coach for the All-Army rugby team. Some of the ruggers representing JBLM also play on local club teams in Tacoma and Olympia. JBLM has used the last two weeks to condition and will continue to practice two to three nights a week leading up to the contest.

The match will be 80 minutes of 15-on-15 play. Most Valuable Player awards will be awarded to a representative of each team following the contest. The championship cup, inscribed with the names and years of the last 13 champions, will be awarded to the winner. A social will follow the contest.

On the flag football side, the 13th annual Puget Sound Classic will feature Soldiers and Airmen of JBLM against Sailors, Coast Guardsmen and Marines from the Northwest in a 9-on-9 semi-contact matchup. Army will host the annual contest Nov. 30 at Cowan Stadium at 2:45 p.m. Pre-game activities begin at 2 p.m.

JBLM won last year’s meeting 21-6 on the Navy’s turf at Silverdale Stadium. Lonnie Meredith returns as coach. Navy leads the overall series 7-5.

The JBLM Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation-sponsored event will also include raffles and prizes.