.htaccess passing through non existent extension

I am having one of those developer moments where I am not seeing the obvious.

I have an .htaccess file that does two things

Either sends requests of the type

http://domain/service/blah/blah/blah => service.php?args=$1
Failing that everything is sent to index.php

All works - except for one small thing - the args passed to service .php starts with .php so using the above example service.php receives
.php/blah/blah/blah

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Instead of
blah/blah/blah

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The rewrite rule for service is as follows  
RewriteRule ^service(.*)$ service.php?args=$1 [L,NC,QSA]

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What am I missing? Why the .php prefix?
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Julian HansenAsked:
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
I don't know but I see examples written these two ways.
RewriteRule ^service(.*)$ /service.php?args=$1 [L,NC,QSA]
RewriteRule ^service(.*)$ http://service.php?args=$1 [L,NC,QSA]

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http://www.askapache.com/htaccess/htaccess.html#Htaccess_File_Syntax
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Julian HansenAuthor Commented:
I think I figured it out - silly mistake on my part

I was trying to match a string that was the same as the filename it was redirecting to

^service(.*)$ service.php

Changed it to
^svc(.*)$ service.php

And all sorted.
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Julian HansenAuthor Commented:
Thanks Dave for the response.

The /service option won't work on my side - I am using a RewriteBase directive so all my rules are relative to that - but appreciate the feedback.
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
Glad you got it figured out anyway.
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Julian HansenAuthor Commented:
Found the solution on my own
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