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Dubai Eagles Suffered A Heavy Loss In Their First Ever Outing To The Dragons
There was a good turnout for what was a very hot and sweaty evening at the Jebel Ali Centre of excellence. The Eagles were finally able to get their claws into some decent rugby after what seems like a whirlwind of a summer campaign, with plenty of players signed up for the new outfit, helped by a boost of players from the recently folded Wasps and the relocation of the Dubai Sharks, from what was a very convenient location for local Dubai rugby players.
The Dragons gave the Eagles quite a toasty welcome to a Premiership standard of rugby, as they put 59-5 past them with some slick play and good line breaks. Henry Paul’s side looked very sharp and will be looking to make amends for last seasons Premiership final loss this season.
The Eagles certainly showed what they had to offer though, with some strong defence, attacking plays and should feel pretty happy to get their first match under their wings. Scrum half, Josh Ives, will certainly be happy as he darted over the line in the corner to score the first ever try for the Eagles.
Click to watch the match highlights below:
Head coach, Pat Benson praised his side, saying;
“I couldn’t be more proud of the boys. They put themselves out there and wanted to play what I feel is a very established Dragons side for a first rugby match for the Dubai Eagles.”
The Eagles struggled with organisation, but showed good glimpses, against a Dragons team that have played together for quite a long time. Replacements were limited with a few players missing due to injury or still on summer breaks and that showed on some of the tired bodies on the pitch, but they all put in a very good 80 minute shift.
The hosts were very accommodating and supportive, getting all players some rugby action which helped out the Eagles in the later minutes with regards to equaling out the standard as much as they could.
Benson added, “Looking forward, I can only see us getting better and the glimpses and patches that did come together, I think it’s showing that the Eagles are actually looking to play some decent rugby”. “I thought the Dragons hospitality and support given to us was absolutely outstanding and we look forward to playing them again in the season.”
Sharks Show Strength And Resilience After A Troubled Summer
The build up match before the main event last night saw the Dragons 2nd XV take on the Sharks 1st XV side. Pre season games are often a bit hit and miss, but today, certainly for the Dubai Sharks, given how the last 3 months have gone for them, was an indicator of how they have progressed and more importantly, how all the new players have integrated into the new look side.
Club Chairman, Mike Quinn was impressed, saying;
“Although the Dragons won, the Sharks have taken a huge amount from the game in our understanding of progress and what we now need to work on.”
There was some strong defence and very competitive rugby played by both sides, which made for very good viewing, and hopefully a taste of what we’re in for in the UAE Conference this year.
Overall, the result may not have gone the way of the Sharks, but they appear to have learned a lot about themselves and seem to have brushed aside the upheaval of their club during the summer break. Final score 34-17 to the Dragons.