Our Kukri ME Preview includes some big games this weekend, with top tier rugby throwing up some great match ups.
Abu Dhabi Saracens take on their city club rivals Harlequins tonight (Thursday evening KO) and Saracens who have had a bumpy start to the season with a forfeit win over Al Ain and a difficult trip to Doha will be glad of a solid home match. Harlequins may be on the road but still being in the capital and after beating Exiles last week will be looking to continue their winning ways.
Our Prediciton – Harlequins win.
Jebel Ali Dragons are also hoping a solid home game get get them back to normality as they to have come off their own Al Ain and Doha adventure. They take on an improving Hurricanes who have shown decent form in their first two hard opening matches and will travel with confidence. Dragons will need to show their preseason promise and quick or Hurricanes could take a good win here.
Our Prediction – Very close to call, but Dragons for a home win.
A massive game at the Sevens tomorrow as Bahrain play the Dubai Exiles with their second away trip in two weekends. They are players down and against a powerful and cohesive rugby unit. But this Bahrain side has added another dimension to even what Exiles and Harlequins have been adding in the last couple of years and relish the closing 20 minutes of matches. This could be the season’s big game.
Our prediction – Bahrain win.
With Amblers withdrawl means Doha have a week off.
Sharjah Wanderers have held off challenges from Wasps and Tigers so far this season, this next game is hardly any easier, they play the Exiles at the Sevens. Sharjah will enjoy playing their oldest rivals, even more so with a competitive team. The Exiles 2s however are not a whipping 2s team and will certainly front up for this match.
Our prediction – (expecting some twitter comments) Sharjah win.
Sharks 1 are home against Abu Dhabi Harlequins and with their Women’s team hosting this season’s first women’s 7’s series, they will be expecting some decent home support. The Sharks will hope to use home advantage to negate a pretty decent Quins side that can rack up the points when they get moving. Sharks win against Wasps last week will have them taking a lot of self belief but it will need backing up in this match. Sharks could be on the verge of just making that Top 6 cut and a win here would boost not just the league standings but the club belief as well.
Prediction – Sharks could take this.
Dubai Wasps travel to Al Ain with the knowledge that a few Amblers 1st team players may trickle down with after the clubs premiership league withdrawal. Wasps though should welcome a strong Amblers side. They boast the players, now more than anything they need a big win to convince the competition they are a team to fear. A big week for the Wasps with 2 teams playing for the first time, they will have prepared hard this week.
A Tough game, if Al Ain have got over their dissapointments they will want to take some sadness issues out on the pitch, should be fun for the Ambler cauldron.
Prediciton – Wasps to win.
Saracens host the Heartbeat Tigers where life doesnt get easier for the Saracens 2s. The Tigers held off a determined Knights last week, but will target a BP win tomorrow to keep their Top 6 challenge going.
Finally Dragons will host the Knights who have won at JACOE in the past and seem to have a self belief that seems to defy the odds. Knights are certainly a team comfortable with each other and a structured game plan. Dragons 2 have smashed everyone so far, this will be a little more of a test of their patience as well as their rugby.
Our Prediciton – Dragons to win.
Photo by Sarah Sargent