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RUGBY

U.S. Snaps Losing Streak in World Cup

October 28, 2003|From Times Wire Services

GOSFORD, Australia — The United States ended its 10-game losing streak at the Rugby World Cup on Monday with a 39-26 victory over Japan.

The Americans, led by flyhalf Mike Hercus' 19 points, won for the first time since beating Japan in their first game at the inaugural World Cup in 1987.

The United States nearly defeated Fiji to open the tournament, losing, 19-18, and lost to Scotland, 39-15, a week ago. The U.S. team (1-2) has one first-round game left against France but can't advance.

"We've accomplished our first goal now, a little bit further in than we wanted to," U.S. captain Dave Hodges said. "But it feels great to get that win after so many years."

It was the 10th consecutive World Cup loss for the Japanese, dropping them into a tie with the Americans for the longest losing streak in tournament history.

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