West Asia’s Women’s rugby cross border competition had a new winner this season as the Abu Dhabi Harlequins overtook the league champions Dubai Hurricanes in the last two tournaments.
The Hurricanes had an injection of new players this year and competed well to finish in second and hold off the challenge of an ambitous Heartbeart Tigers team, who may have rued the season ending injury to their promising u20’s player Sophie Shams.
Harlequins themselves were bolstered by their U20’s recruit this season in the form of Georgina Jones, who took over kicking duties and complemented a well balanced team that combined power well with pace.
The women’s league this season sadly had to do without a team from Kuwait, but Doha’s 3 teams ensured the cross border event is still popular and diverse enough to cater to the different standards of players.
The league ran over 6 events with Dubai Hurricanes starting strong and looking to repeat their league success, especially after they won the Dubai 7s as well, but Harlequins were always just looking over their shoulders and finished strongly.
Dubai Sharks fought most of the season with Tigers for 2nd place, but were plagued a little with injury issues.
Abu Dhabi Saracens Ladies continue their success story. As last years debutants in the league, they finished a superb 10th this season and continue to play an expansive and enterprising brand of 7s.
Overall the women’s game has enjoyed a good year, but there could be concerns for the future as numbers for the finals tournament dwindled leaving a sadly reduced spectacle for the season ending finale. There are also few U20 age group players coming through although there may be hope that the new Emirati U19 development program might produce some new talent into the pool.
Next month sees the start of the XVs program where teams will look to combine their talents. Last season’s final between the South and North of UAE was a very competitive and enjoyabe affair, and the 15s enthusiasts in the womens teams would look forward to a repeat of such an event.
Abu Dhabi (South) start their campaign against Doha (in Doha) on the 3rd where the Doha women could be bouyed by the coaching availability and experience of thier successful Mens team.