Some very interesting results from the weekend’s rugby fixtures and evidence that this season will be tough competition for the teams.
In the Premiership / West Asia Championship fixtures the highly anticipated Dragons vs Bahrain game produced a stunning and compounding 51-10 win for the Island team. Bahrain recruited massively over the summer and although Dragons experienced some travel problems, neither their new coach, nor the team itself would have expected (or welcomed) such a score line.
Dubai Exiles overcame a travelling Doha, maybe suggesting winning away this season might be the key to winning the league. Fans of the scrum would have enjoyed the match as the count passed 30, but the Exiles will be happy with the 24-5 win.
Saracens opened their account with their new coach with a 45 – 3 win down in Al Ain, who have been heavily hit with many of their pacific island players heading off to new teams. Saracens might upset a few teams this season and will only add to the competitive mix.
Similarly, Dubai Hurricanes played some good rugby even in their 35 – 13 loss to Harlequins and could well upset a few teams themselves. There is plenty of rugby to come and a couple of interesting results this season could have a serious impact of any challenger’s ambitions.
Dubai Sharks propbably produced the result of the day with a 14-13 win over Dubai Wasps. The Sharks have an excellent internal club belief and are the team now that others will be looking over their shoulder at. Wasps just seem disjointed, like a horse not yet out of the gate, they should be producing more, but a couple of dropped games in the conference and they will be under pressure early.
Sharjah Wanderers weathered a tough and tricky home game against Heartbeat Tigers who have always been a capable team. Sharjah will take a lot of confidence from this match, taking a 23 – 14 win against one of the leagues stronger sides. Sharjah utilised their line out well, especially on a day where they were missing their main kicker.
Dubai Dragons enjoyed a comfortable 36 – 7 win over old rivals Dubai Hurricanes who looked out of sorts from the traditional 2nd team of old. Dragons 2s benefiting from the overall coaching of Henry Paul and the Dragons strength in depth this season.
Harlequins 2 bounced back from last weeks loss to Exiles with a 52 – 10 win in Al Ain, who will be bedding in a few Emirati Wolves players this season to counteract the loss of the Fiji boys which can only be good for UAE Rugby at least in the long run.
UAE Community League
The Beaver Nomads moved to a Thursday night game and enjoyed the cooler climes to register thier first win against their big rivals Sharks. The fixture is always good to watch, especially as Beavers play two Sharks teams in a season. The final BP win score will settle the Beavers, who are still missing a couple of players to start.
The UAE Shaheen also got off to a flyer with a great 36 – 5 win over the Sharks 3s. The Shaheen team often can change from training night to playing day, but have enough overall structure now to be able to put a game together in regular competition. Results notwithstanding this can only be positive for UAE Rugby.
Dragons 3s had the most fun on the weekend, where players were actually looking forward to playing on the ‘beach’ in RAK. The game which had more water breaks than a water polo match, was memorable with Dragons players wondering why they didn’t seem to be moving when they ran.
For their part the Goats seemingly have the hang of their home ground and with some defensive pressure and territorial kicking thinking were often in Dragons territory and should have scored more, with at least 3 chances missed. Their first try was a clever switch from forwards sucking in players to a half back walk in under the posts, showing teams they will need to work hard at ‘The Goat Pen’.
Harlequins Baa Baa’s got their campaign off to a winning start as well against Al Ain, resulting in a sad day at home for the Amblers teams. The 41 – 17 win a good result for the Quins who themselves had 3 from 3 as a club.
Our video highlights today show how the lineout is still an effective attacking weapon in Rugby, with some really good tries from Sharjah and Beaver Nomads.
Follow the link to : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXrUAr4q0iw