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Gulf Rugby Roundup Week 16

A look back at the final round of regular season action in the top two leagues, and our first taste of knockout rugby in both the Premiership and Community leagues.

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Al Ain Amblers RFC

Team of the Week – Al Ain Amblers 1s

One of this most intriguing storylines to evolve from this season has been the rivalry between Al Ain Amblers and Abu Dhabi Saracens as both looked to secure the second Pool B semi-final slot, behind the dominant Dubai Tigers. An impressive 34-22 away win at Hurricanes 2s sealed qualification for the Amblers and indeed second place in the combined league table having lost only three matches this year (two coming against Tigers). They must now repeat the trick in the semi finals as, despite a larger points haul, Canes will enjoy home advantage due to the fact they were top of Pool A.

Bahrain will face Exiles in this years final

West Asia Premiership

Bahrain and Dubai Exiles will contest the final next week in Bahrain after both winning their semi finals this weekend. Bahrain will go in as favourites, having topped the league rankings they underlined their pedigree in crushing Jebel Ali Dragons 56-7. Exiles upset Abu Dhabi Harlequins 31-16 at Zayed Sports City to earn their place in the showpiece. The season will then culminate with the UAE Premiership semi finals offering Quins, Exiles, Dragons and Hurricanes (who missed out on the West Asia knockouts) another chance for silverware at finals day.

 

Amblers RFC

Conference

The aforementioned Amblers were the big winners of the weekend in claiming the only playoff spot left up for grabs. Abu Dhabi Saracens benefitted from a forfeit by Exiles 2s to also gain a 5pt win, but Amblers superior point difference takes them through by the finest of margins. In the only dead-rubber match to go ahead, Dragons 2s eased past Sharks 41-12.

UAE Conference Semi Final Line-up (March 22)
Dubai Hurricanes 2s (A1) v Al Ain Amblers (B2), Dubai Tigers (B1) v Jebel Ali Dragons 2s (A2)

 

Barrelhouse vs Dragons Cup Final

Community

The semi final fixtures took place last weekend and as widely expected it will be Barrelhouse and Dragons 3s who meet to contest the honours on finals day. There was nearly a shock in the first semi final however, with Barrelhouse surprisingly pushed all the way by a Harlequins 3s side, perhaps benefitting from absence of a 2s fixture. In the end, Barrelhouse edged out a 19-15 win and will look to complete an unbeaten season by winning the final. Dragons’ qualification was somewhat more straightforward, overcoming a spirited RAK Rugby side 31-5.

UAE Community Final (March 8)
Barrelhouse v Jebel Ali Dragons 3s

Article by: Huw Harrow

gulf rugby

We look back over the past two weeks which saw final regular season games take place in the Community league two weeks ago, along with Premiership and Conference action this weekend.

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Barrelhouse Rugby Club - Team Of the Week Feb 2019

Team of the Week – Barrelhouse

We began the season back in Week one by picking out Barrelhouse as a team to watch this season after seeing them rack up 50 points on an impressive league debut. So it has proved as the season has progressed with the newcomers defeating Dragons 3s 32-31 in a thriller to finish top of the regular season standings in the Community league. They now go into the playoffs as top seeds and will be heavily favoured to get past Harlequins 3s for a place at Finals Day. An impressive effort for the club in their first season of competitive XVs.

Dubai hurricanes line out

West Asia Premiership

Little change in the standings this week as Hurricanes came close to recording a win away at Harlequins that would have lifted them back into the playoff places but fell agonisingly short in a 35-34 reverse at Zayed Sports City. Exiles recorded a comfortable victory over the Eagles, which guarantees their playoff spot.

 

abu dhabi saracens conference rugby

Conference

Three fixtures took place this weekend, with all being won by sides from Group B. Abu Dhabi Saracens and Al Ain Amblers continue to match each other in the quest for the final playoff spot both recording comfortable home bonus point wins over Hurricanes 2s and Eagles 2s respectively. Level on 46 points, it is Amblers superior points difference that gives them the edge at the moment, a bonus point win next week over Canes 2s should see them through but Sarries are poised to pounce on any slip up. Elsewhere Dubai Tigers 1s kept up their unbeaten run, grinding out a 31-17 victory away at Quins 2s.

 

barrelhouse vs dragons

Community

This round of fixtures saw the final league standings and playoff fixtures decided. Barrelhouse edged Dragons 3s in the clash of the two unbeaten sides for top spot. A high scoring win for Tigers 2s away at Al Ain briefly put them in contention to gate-crash the top four, but both RAK Rugby and Harlequins 3s were able to get the job done in their respective fixtures to earn themselves a top four finish. RAK were pushed all the way by the Shaheen who will be pleased to have put 38 points on the board in their final fixture despite falling to defeat.

originallyit was looking like it was going to be a top four playoff in the Community League, but GRM have opened the league up to a knockout playoff between all teams. It does look as though they have been seeded so should make for an interesting few fixtures as below:

[Q1] Barrelhouse 1s vs Harlequins 3s
[Q2] Dragons 3s vs RAK 1s
[Q3] Amblers 2s vs Sharks 2s
[Q4] Tigers 2s vs Shaheen 1s

Article by: Huw Harrow

Gulf Rugby - Round 13

The thirteenth Friday of this Gulf Rugby season – would it be unlucky for some?

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jebel ali dragons 3rd xv

Team of the Week – Jebel Ali Dragons 3s

Just one of three men’s sides to hold an unbeaten record at this stage in the season, Dragons 3s overcame a potentially tricky assignment away to RAK Rugby Club this weekend. In a game played at the Sevens against the side one position below them in the table, the Dragons put on an accomplished display, in a convincing 55-12 win. Given their superior point difference (though forfeited games have some impact here) this was enough to propel them to the top of the Community league ahead of also unbeaten Barrelhouse.

harlequins vs eagles

West Asia Premiership

Business as usual for runaway leaders Bahrain who recorded their twelfth win of the season, 21-10 at home to Dubai Exiles. Considering the run of form they have been on, failing to record the bonus point may be something of a frustration as it actually sees Abu Dhabi Harlequins narrow the gap at the top ever so slightly thanks to their bonus point away to Dubai Eagles. Eagles themselves took a bonus point out of the encounter, racking up over 30 points and continue to display signs of improvement. With two games to go of the season they will be desperate to secure the win their performances recently have deserved. Elsewhere Jebel Ali Dragons moved ahead of Dubai Hurricanes, and crucially into the final playoff spot, edging out their city rivals 17-10.

 

dubai hurricanes 2nd xv

Conference

We now more or less know three of the four teams who will contest the end of season conference playoffs with just two rounds of regular season fixtures to go. In Group A, Hurricanes’ crushing win over Dubai Sharks should see them top the group and with both Dragons and Quins 2s losing, the gap between the two remains at eight points in favour of the Dragons, which should be enough to give them second. Dubai Tigers are clear at the top of Group B, beating Dragons 2s 48-19 to maintain their unbeaten record this weekend. It will go down to the wire between Al Ain Amblers and Abu Dhabi Saracens to claim second spot, both of whom had good wins this weekend, for Saracens a particularly satisfactory 46-17 triumph over Harlequins 2s in the Abu Dhabi derby. Eagles 2s recorded their second win of the season, beating the Arabian Knights 29-22 in a hard fought contest that saw the Knights pick up 2 bonus points in the game but are still yet to see victory this season.

 

uae community rugby

Community

The aforementioned RAK-Dragons fixture was the only match to take place this week, but some interesting off field news, in that indications are that the Community league will introduce playoffs for the top four this season, as opposed to the top two going straight to finals day. Unbeaten Barrelhouse and Dragons 3s are already guaranteed a home draw, but who will face them is up for grabs on the final round of fixtures next week. Should either RAK or Quins 3s slip up then Tigers 2s can overtake them if they can come away with a bonus point win from Al Ain.

Article by: Huw Harrow

gulf rugby roundup week 12

This week’s UAE Rugby action from across all three leagues.

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abu dhabi saracens rugby

Team of the Week – Abu Dhabi Saracens

It has been well documented that 2018 was a difficult year for a side which were West Asia Champions as recently as 2015. Results on the field saw demotion to the UAE Conference at the end of last season but struggles off it have really tested the resilience of the club. The early signs are that 2019 might see Sarries turn a corner in their rebuilding phase. They have gone three wins from three in January, conceding only 12 points in the process and two of those matches coming away from home. Locked in a battle with Al Ain Amblers to secure a playoff spot, they are building momentum at the right time of the season and bringing much needed confidence back to Al Ghazal.

dubai exiles vs hurricanes 2019

West Asia Premiership

Dubai Exiles were the big winners in this round of matches, claiming a hard fought local derby win at The Sevens over Dubai Hurricanes 32-27. That lifts them to third in the standings as they jostle for playoff spots along with Canes and Jebel Ali Dragons. Dragons themselves were edged out at home by Abu Dhabi Harlequins 29-25, a win which sees Quins all but guaranteed second spot with Bahrain clear at the top.

 

dubai tigers rugby uae

Conference

The game of the week in the Conference also came at The Sevens and it was another agonising defeat for the home club with Canes 2s edged out 46-44 in the last minute of a tumultuous free scoring contest with unbeaten Dubai Tigers 1s. The three top 1s sides all recorded wins over their Premiership second team opponents with Al Ain Amblers cantering past Quins 2s and Abu Dhabi Saracens travelling down to Jebel Ali and recording an impressive 27-5 away win. Conversely, amongst the sides towards the bottom of their respective groups, it was the second strings who claimed the points with DSC Eagles 2s and Dubai Exiles 2s claiming only their second and third wins of the campaign respectively.

 

rak rugby vs al ain amblers

Community

Nearing the end of the regular season in the Community League and just two fixtures were completed this weekend. Dragons 3s maintained their unbeaten record in sweeping past Tigers 2s to keep up in the two horse race at the top with Barrelhouse. The mid-table clash between Amblers 2s and RAK Rugby went the way of the northern emirate side 36-19, a result which sees them climb back to what is almost now their customary third place in the standings.

Article by: Birthday Boy Huw Harrow

Latest Gulf Rugby News 2019

More action this week from the West Asia Premiership and UAE Conference rugby league.

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Amblers vs Dragons

Team of the Week – Al Ain Amblers

Al Ain coming away from Jebel Ali with a comprehensive 45-21 win, over a side that had previously lost on just one occasion this season might be seen as the upset of the round. Though that would overlook the fact that the Amblers were only a whisker away from toppling league leaders Tigers last week and seem to have run into a rich vein of form at just the right time of the season. If they can hold off Abu Dhabi Saracens for a playoff spot, they will be a threat in the knockout stages.

eagles vs hurricanes uae premiership rugby match

West Asia Premiership

On paper this week’s main event was the top of the table clash between Abu Dhabi Harlequins and Bahrain, but with the away side winning in irresistible fashion, narrowly missing out of putting 50pts on Quins, the drama ended up being found elsewhere. DSC Eagles suffered a heart-breaking loss to Dubai Hurricanes, a match that is becoming a real rivalry in Dubai. Canes clinched it 27-25 with a last second try in spite of a large period of stout Eagles goal line resistance, leaving the hosts rooted to the foot of the table and still without a win. It was just as close fought in the other Dubai derby between Jebel Ali Dragons and Dubai Exiles, the Exiles claiming a four point win which moves them up to third in the West Asia standings.

 

saracens vs eagles conference rugby 2019

Conference

All change in the fixture lists at Conference level as sides in the 1s group and 2s group played against one another for the first time. The top 1s sides recorded some impressive results with Abu Dhabi Saracens keeping pace with the aforementioned Amblers thanks to an away win 49-7 over DSC Eagles 2s. Hurricanes 2s were the other big winners of the round, with their comfortable away win at Arabian Knights coupled with Dragons 2s loss seeing the Canes take over as the top ranked 2s side and gain pole position for a favourable playoff draw. The Sharks and Exiles forfeited their games, giving both Tigers 1s and Quins 2s easy bonus point wins.

Article by: Huw Harrow

Latest Gulf Rugby News 2019

News from the first round of Gulf Rugby action in 2019 with fixtures taking place across all three men’s divisions last weekend.

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bahrain rugby club team of the week January 2019

Team of the Week – Bahrain

A week where fixtures largely went according to the formbook contained no stand out results with high scoring home wins largely the order of the day. West Asia Premiership leaders Bahrain are the major exception, travelling to The Sevens to face a resurgent Hurricanes still buoyant from their Dubai 7s triumph last month, they dismantled the home side to win 44-19 claiming a bonus point and maintaining their cushion over Abu Dhabi Harlequins ahead of next week’s top of the table clash in the capital.

dragons vs eagles lineout jan 2019

West Asia Premiership

Bahrain and Abu Dhabi Harlequins both kept up the pace at the top of the table with high scoring bonus point wins. With Bahrain dispatching a Hurricanes side who came in to the week in third place, the gap between the top two and the rest has in fact widened further. A win for Jebel Ali Dragons in a high scoring 54-31 encounter with Dubai Eagles moves them up in to third, leapfrogging both Canes and Dubai Exiles. We can expect to see plenty of jostling for position between these three in the season’s closing weeks.

The West Asia playoff race is now looking clear as Dragons, Exiles and Canes all fight amongst themselves for 3rd and 4th places in the table to secure playoff action, all signs point towards January 18th’s crunch fixture at Zayed Sports City between Harlequins and Bahrain acting as this year’s title decider.

 

abu dhabi saracens conference rugby 2019

Conference

The last round of initial group fixtures before crossover matches between 1s and 2s sides contained no surprises. Harlequins and Dragons 2s racked up comfortable home wins over Exiles and Eagles 2s respectively. It was ‘must win’ territory for Quins as they eased past Exiles 32-8, still sit 10pts behind Hurricanes 2s, who had a bye week, and mathematically at least still in the race for a playoff place as a result. Amongst the 1s group, Abu Dhabi Saracens put together a convincing win over Arabian Knights, who, despite being yet to register a win this season, deserve credit for continuing to compete week in week out. The real drama came over at Al Ain Amblers where Dubai Tigers having gone all of 2018 unbeaten, nearly came unstuck at this year’s first hurdle but held on to edge past the home side 22-19.

 

barrelhouse vs rak rugby

Community

Wins for Barrelhouse and Dragons 3s maintained both sides’ 100% records and further increased the likelihood that they will meet on finals day to decide the title. In falling to league leaders Barrelhouse 43-7, RAK Rugby slip behind Tigers 2s in the chasing pack. After a difficult start to the season, Tigers have registered three wins on the bounce, edging out local rivals Dubai Sharks 2s 26-25, and could yet sneak into contention if they can win away at the Dragons at the end of the month. There were over 100 points scored in the weekend’s other fixture in Al Ain where the Amblers 2s defeated Shaheen 67-36. Consolation for the Shaheen comes in the form of a 4 try bonus point and their first league points of the 2018/19 campaign.

 

Top Point Scorers

If you’re looking to see who’s got the latest ‘bragging rights’ in our Top Scorers table, then head straight over to our Top 10 Stats page.

Article by: Huw Harrow

gulf rugby roundup 2019

Gulf Rugby returns this weekend after the winter break. With plenty to be decided across all levels of the game – we outline the titles on offer at the business end of the season, and which rugby clubs stand to be in with a shot of each.

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bahrain rugby club

West Asia Premiership

Up for grabs: Six rounds of fixtures remain with the top four teams then going into a playoff to see who will make it to the Final of the league and crowned West Asia Champions.

In the Hunt: Bahrain and Abu Dhabi Harlequins

It might seem a little early to be calling this a two horse race, but the form showed by these two towards the end of 2018 would mean it would require a sizeable collapse if one of them is not to be lifting the West Asia Rugby title this season. While there are six rounds of fixtures to go and plenty of time for form to change, third place Exiles are already 14 points off the pace, which looks an insurmountable gap. As such, the January 18th clash between Quins and leaders Bahrain at Zayed Sports City has ‘title decider’ written all over it.

harlequins

UAE Premiership

Up for grabs: Fixtures not including Bahrain also count towards UAE Premiership standings, with the top four sides facing off in playoff to determine who plays on finals day.

In the Hunt: Abu Dhabi Harlequins, Dubai Hurricanes, Dubai Exiles, Jebel Ali Dragons

Luckily for the rest of the teams in the top flight there is still plenty to play for in the form of the UAE Premiership. With Bahrain out of the picture, Quins 14 point advantage over second placed Hurricanes gives them one foot in the final but the remaining place is very much up for grabs. Only four points separate Hurricanes, Dragons and last season’s winners, Exiles so fixtures between these sides will carry extra edge in the season’s closing weeks.

tigers

UAE Conference

Up for grabs: The two best 1s and 2s sides respectively will qualify for semis and a chance to make it to finals day.

In the Hunt: Dubai Tigers, Abu Dhabi Saracens, Al Ain Amblers, Hurricanes 2s, Dragons 2s

Conference sides find a shake up with their remaining fixture list with sides playing each other across the ‘1s Group’ and the ‘2s Group’. Semi-finalists will still consist of the top two from each respective group however. Amongst the 1s, defending champions Dubai Tigers remain unbeaten in this campaign and look set to make the knockouts with Abu Dhabi Saracens and Al Ain Amblers battling it out for the second spot. Hurricanes and Dragons 2s have broken clear in the 2s standings with Harlequins a further 13 points back so look unlikely to contest the knockouts.

Barrelhouse

UAE Community

Up for grabs: At the moment, the top two teams are playing for a place at finals day, but there is still talk of a possible playoff between the top four teams.

In the Hunt: Barrelhouse, Dragons 3s, RAK, Harlequins 3s

At the halfway point, two sides remain unbeaten, last year’s runners up Dragons 3s and the newcomers Barrelhouse. The two sides meet on February 8th in what could be a final dress rehearsal, but RAK and Quins 3s have a shot at breaking into the top two if they can pull off an upset in coming games. With teams only having 3 or 4 games remaining, each fixture is crucial for those competing at the top end.

Eagles

UAE Womens Sevens Series

Up for grabs: Four additional one-day tournaments with results from each going towards deciding the cumulative Sevens League Champions.

In the Hunt: DSC Eagles and Dubai Hurricanes

Eagles Ladies remain unbeaten this season and boast a 6pt cushion at the top of the standings having come out on top in all three tournaments thus far as well as claiming back to back Dubai 7s crowns. It would take a brave person to bet against further dominance from the girls in green, but if any side is likely to break the stranglehold, Hurricanes look the most likely. They have finished runner up in each round so far and also took the Eagles to extra time in a dramatic Dubai 7s semi-final, so will be looking for a change of fortune in the coming weeks.

Article by: Huw Harrow

Gulf Rugby Roundup

Our final roundup of 2018 as we find out who will be heading in to Christmas top of the tree in the Premiership and the Conference leagues

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Dubai Tigers

Team of the Week – Dubai Tigers 1s

A routine victory for the Tigers over an Arabian Knights outfit that are still looking for their first win this season would not normally attract our attention. But in defeating the Knights in the final round of games to be played in 2018, Tigers 1s have achieved the rare distinction of going a whole calendar year unbeaten. Their run stretches back to last season’s Conference title winning side and this form has carried across into this season as they sit comfortably top of their Conference Pool with 7 wins out of 7. The closest they have come to defeat was back in the Conference final with Sharjah Wanderers, which finished as a draw in normal time before Tigers snatched it in sudden death. A minor blemish on what is a significant milestone achievement.

harlequins vs hurricanes

West Asia Premiership

The weekend’s big clash came at The Sevens with an immediate rematch of the Dubai 7s final between Dubai Hurricanes and Abu Dhabi Harlequins. This time it was the away side who gained revenge for their 7s loss with a bonus point 43-21 win. That keeps Quins hot on the tails of Bahrain who dispatched Jebel Ali Dragons and go into the new year with a four point lead at the top. Dubai Exiles ran out victors at the end of a thriller over DSC Eagles, with their city rivals leading 20-12 at halftime and almost snatching the victory in the last play of the game with a try in the corner only for a foot in touch leaving them with the consolation of a credible losing bonus point and a final score of 23-29.

The title race at the top now looking clear as a 14 point gap having opened up between third place Exiles and Quins in second spot, all signs point towards January 18th’s crunch fixture at Zayed Sports City between Harlequins and Bahrain acting as this year’s title decider.

 

saracens rugby players abu dhabi

Conference

With Tigers running away with the lead in their pool, Abu Dhabi Saracens kept themselves in touch with Al Ain Amblers in the battle for the second qualification spot thanks to a decisive 57-10 away win over Dubai Sharks. Hurricanes 2s will be the happiest of the sides in the other pool, as they leapfrog Dragons 2s courtesy of a 20-7 triumph at home to Quins 2s. Both Dragons and Hurricanes have opened up a cushion in the top two places with Quins slipping away and Exiles 2s earning only their second win of the season over fellow back marker Eagles 2s.

Article by: Huw Harrow

gulf rugby roundup

This week’s Gulf rugby roundup, from our resident wordsmith – Huw Harrow.

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Dragons 2s - Team of The Week

Team of the Week – Jebel Ali Dragons 2s

Results might not be going the way of Jebel Ali’s 1s outfit as they look to defend their West Asia Premiership crown, but there is clearly significant strength in depth at the club with their 2s and 3s boasting a record for P9 W9 across the Conference and Community divisions. At 2s level the start to the season has been particularly impressive, racking up six wins on the bounce (five with a bonus point) and continued their winning ways this weekend comfortably seeing off Harlequins 2s 36-12 in what looked a banana skin fixture away at Zayed Sports City. Six points clear at the top of their group, the performances of this second string may bring about some interesting selection discussions for Mike Phillips in weeks to come.

eagles vs bahrain

West Asia Premiership

We wrote last week that there is clearly a good bit of momentum building in Bahrain this season and a crushing 88-7 win over Dubai Eagles this weekend will have done little to stop that. Yes the Eagles may be without a win so far this season, but they have not been blown away to that extent in any of their fixtures, especially not at home. Given the emphatic nature of that result it was key for Abu Dhabi Harlequins to respond and keep up in the title hunt, which they did via a convincing 38-20 home win over Jebel Ali Dragons. That defeat sees Dragons slip to second bottom in the table after Dubai Hurricanes produced another impressive result to overcome Dubai Exiles at the Sevens and find themselves in the lofty position of third as a result. Exiles have now lost three in a row after a promising start and face a daunting trip away to Bahrain next weekend.

tigers rugby

Conference

All things pretty much went to form in the Conference fixtures although there were a couple of nail biters with Dubai Tigers and Hurricanes 2s being pushed all the way. Canes held on for a 36-34 win to complete a double for the club over Exiles this weekend while reigning champions Tigers keep finding a way to win this season, edging out Abu Dhabi Saracens by a single late score at Al Ghazal. There were more routine victories for Al Ain Amblers in a typically high scoring encounter with Dubai Sharks and Dragons 2s away at Harlequins.

barrelhouse rugby players

Community

Barrelhouse remain unbeaten after another convincing win over Amblers 2s but the plaudits must go to Tigers 2s for their first competitive win (excluding forfeits), 17-12 over last season’s champions Harlequins 3s. Otherwise it was a quiet weekend of Community rugby due to to the fixture between RAK and Dragons being postponed and the Shaheen forfeiting their game against Sharks 2s.

DSC Eagles ladies Rugby

Womens Sevens Series

It was business as usual in week three of the Women’s Sevens League as DSC Eagles took home their third straight win and still remain unbeaten. They don’t seem to be showing much sign of slowing down either, recording 192 points across their fixtures this weekend, the highest total of any round so far. Dubai Hurricanes and Al Ain Amblers once again provided the closest challenge finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively at the tournament hosted in Al Ain. Judging by the after party photos, the Amblers ladies certainly know how to throw an event – we’ll be hoping to join them when they next host the Womens Sevens Series.

Article by: Huw Harrow

gulf rugby roundup

All the latest from a high scoring week of Premiership and Conference action.

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bahrain Rugby Club - Yalla Rugby Team of the Week

Team of the Week – Bahrain

We may be the home of Emirates Rugby but we like to give credit where it’s due. This week’s Team Of The Week award goes across the Gulf to Bahrain after the men in red secured a bonus point home victory in their top of the table clash with Abu Dhabi Harlequins on Friday night. They open up a four point gap at the top of the standings and will be confident of consolidating their position with a trip to winless DSC Eagles up next. Always a tough nut to crack in front of their vociferous home support, Bahrain have added a greater degree of consistency to their performances this year with two wins out of three on the road. With the league’s most miserly defence and a home ground fortress – if Bahrain can add the sort of attacking fluency they demonstrated in this 39-20 win over Harlequins on a regular basis, they will take a lot of stopping this year.

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premiership rugby dragons exiles

West Asia Premiership

There was plenty of excitement outside of the top two this week with Premiership games averaging 66 points per match, perhaps heralded by the arrival of cooler winter conditions in the Gulf this week. Jebel Ali Dragons continued their resurgence with a 45-36 win over Dubai Exiles, though the bonus point gained by Exiles keeps them ahead of their city rivals in the table. It was heartbreak for the Dubai Eagles in their quest for an elusive first win, edged out by just two points by Dubai Hurricanes at the Sevens.

dubai eagles conference rugby

Conference

The Hurricanes-Eagles rivalry also served up a classic in the Conference at 2nd team level, but this time it was the new boys coming away with the narrowest of wins 38-37 giving them their first win of the season. Hurricanes’ slip up saw Dragons 2s move further clear at the top of the group, maintaining their unbeaten record and putting 55 points on the board over Exiles 2s in the process. In the other pool, Abu Dhabi Saracens missed the chance to close the gap of Dubai Tigers coming unstuck 24-15 away to Al Ain Amblers. Dubai Sharks completed a double over Arabian Knights in the weeks other fixture.

Article by: Huw Harrow

gulf rugby roundup

This week’s action across the Gulf rugby scene, including for the first time a look at the women’s sevens league.

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Dubai Eagles rugby team of the week

Team of the Week – DSC Eagles Women

On current form the Eagles ladies would have a claim to be one of the most dominant sports teams in the Middle East in any sport. The reigning Womens Rugby Sevens Series and Dubai 7s champions swept to victory this week in round two of this year’s competition, just as they did in round one. Eagles did at least concede points this week with runners up Dubai Hurricanes and the Dubai Cones managing to cross the whitewash against them, a feat not achieved by any side in the opening round.

abu dhabi harlequins first team premiership rugby

West Asia Premiership

Abu Dhabi Harlequins and Bahrain continue to set the early pace, both recording impressive wins this weekend. Quins gained revenge for their UAE Premiership final loss to Exiles with a 44-20 win at The Sevens Stadium, while Bahrain comfortably saw off Dubai Hurricanes at home. Jebel Ali Dragons halted their recent slump but were made to work hard by DSC Eagles. The top two meet in what promises to be a crunch fixture next week.

saracens conference rugby player

Conference

Just three fixtures were recorded in this round of Conference games as Exiles 2s were forced to forfeit during their fixture against Quins 2s due to injury woes in the 67th minute. All other matches went as the formbook might have suggested. Dubai Tigers 1s and Abu Dhabi Saracens 1s notched comfortable wins over Al Ain Amblers 1s and Arabian Knights respectively to cement their positions at the head of their group. Dragons 2s remain unbeaten but much as in the corresponding 1s fixture, did not have it all their own way in getting past Eagles 2s 27-19.

rak vs sharks

Community

A further three games at Community level where Barrelhouse and Jebel Ali Dragons 3s maintained their unbeaten records, Barrelhouse impressing again in seeing off reigning champions Abu Dhabi Harlequins 3s 29-7. Quins slip to fourth in the standings behind RAK who saw off Sharks 2s.

rak womens rugby b-league winners

Womens Sevens Series

Round two of the womens sevens league, hosted by Hurricanes, saw no fewer than 30 matches take place on an action packed day at the Sevens. A full round robin A League and B league were completed with six sides competing in each. DSC Eagles continued their stranglehold on the women’s game in winning League A and remain unbeaten this year.

League B was a much tighter affair with RAK and Sharjah emerging as the two stand out sides, in what was both of their first league appearances of the season. RAK emerged victorious with just conversion splitting the sides in a 12-10 decider.

Article by: Huw Harrow

gulf rugby roundup

The latest from across all three divisions in the UAE as the season begins to take shape.

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Dubai Hurricanes 1st XV, Team Of The Week 15-10-18

Team of the Week – Dubai Hurricanes 1s

They may not have won this weekend and sit just fourth in the West Asia Premiership table but the last two weeks have shown signs of significant improvement for the Dubai Hurricanes. Having failed to register a win against any of the top four throughout last season’s campaign, they have got that monkey off their back at the second attempt this time round, easing to a 27-11 win over Jebel Ali Dragons in Week 3. Followed up by a not at all un-respectable display away to Abu Dhabi Harlequins this weekend, Canes have served notice to the big guns that they intend to have a much greater say in proceedings this year.

dubai exiles west asia premiership

West Asia Premiership

It is nip and tuck at the top of the West Asia Premiership table with no side left unbeaten after four rounds and all signs suggest we have a very open title race to look forward to. Dubai Exiles hold top spot on points difference, having strung three wins together after their opening night loss to the Dragons. Bahrain claimed arguably this weekend’s standout result in coming away from Jebel Ali with a 13-9 scalp. The Dragons, having lost two in a row, will be glad to face bottom side DSC Eagles next week and will want to be sure not to slip up to avoid falling adrift from the pace setters.

dubai sharks conference rugby

Conference

The next round of games will give us a clearer picture of the Conference standings as each side completes its first round of group fixtures. The fixture between Dubai Tigers and Al Ain Amblers looks particularly enticing, with both sides highest placed in their group and having put up big scores in recent wins over Arabian Knights. Tigers did not have it all their own way however in a see-saw 46-43 win over traditional local rivals Dubai Sharks two weeks ago. The Sharks are another side looking much improved this season having also been competitive in defeat this weekend away to Abu Dhabi Saracens. In the other group, Dragons 2s can complete the opening round undefeated if, as the formbook suggests, they can overcome Eagles 2s next week. Hurricanes 2s currently sit top of that group, having played a game more, coming away with an impressive 35-29 from Zayed Sport City against Harlequins 2s.

ras al khaimah rugby club RAK

Community

Just one round of games since our last update. Holders Harlequins 3s and RAK Rugby recorded hard fought wins over Amblers 2s and Tigers 2s respectively but Dragons 3s currently sit top of the pile after putting up something of a cricket score against a struggling Sharks 2s. Newcomers Barrelhouse were left with a rest this week as Shaheen forfeited their game due to Arab Rugby competition in Cairo for the National 7s squad.

Article by: Huw Harrow

gulf rugby roundup

We welcome back our resident wordsmith, Huw Harrow as he brings us a combo sized rugby roundup of action from Week 1 & 2.

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barrelhouse rugby club

Team of the Week – Powerhouse Barrelhouse

With news of clubs being forced to leave the circuit a common theme in recent seasons, the arrival of Barrelhouse on the scene is a reason to be cheerful. This weekend marked the club’s competitive UAE XVs debut, and they announced themselves in some style with a 56-10 win over Dubai Tigers 2s. A performance built around old-fashioned forward dominance overwhelmed their visitors at Jebel Ali, in what was also a landmark fixture for the Tigers as their first competitive outing for their second string. Nonetheless a result that will make the established order in the Community league sit up and take notice.

Bahrain vs Eagles

Premiership

Bahrain have been the big winners over the first two weeks of Premiership action and are the only side to maintain an unbeaten record after opening the season with an impressive away victory over Abu Dhabi Harlequins and seeing off the DSC Eagles this weekend. The Eagles look set to face a challenging second season in the top flight having been edged out 13-20 on home soil by Dubai Hurricanes in their season opener, a match that on paper they would have targeted for a victory. In the clash of last season’s West Asia and UAE Champions, Jebel Ali Dragons were winners over Dubai Exiles, only for the Dragons to be in turned down on home turf against a resurgent Harlequins by a surprising scoreline of 22-46. Early indications suggest this promises to be an intriguing season.

saracens vs tigers

Conference

The UAE Conference starts off split into two groups this year (read our season preview for more) and early standings offer a very different picture in each group. Group A, featuring Premiership 2s outfits has both Hurricanes and Dragons two from two, with Harlequins, Eagles and Exiles yet to record a competitive win. Meanwhile in Group B there is nothing to choose between the Dubai Tigers, Abu Dhabi Saracens, Dubai Sharks and Al Ain Amblers with all having registered one win apiece. Holders Tigers began their defence with a hard fought 27-17 win over Saracens.

amblers vs sharks

Community

The UAE Community league also got underway this weekend and aside from Barrelhouse’s eye catching result, there were also big wins for Amblers 2s and Dragons 3s over Sharks 2s and Shaheen respectively. It is good to see the Shaheen back in action and despite a heavy opening defeat against last season’s beaten finalists, they will hope for better fortune in weeks to come. The tie of the round was played out at Zayed Sports City with reigning champions Harlequins 3s pushed all the way by RAK in recording a 31-26 win.

Article by: Huw Harrow

uae rugby round up


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Our final weekly round up of the season ahead as league action comes to a close

 

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Team of the Week – Dubai Tigers

Dubai Tigers Team Of The Week

On a weekend where two West Asia Premiership Finals took place it would take a sensational result for a team outside those games to claim team of the week, but in dismantling Conference holders Abu Dhabi Harlequins 2s 73-0, that is exactly what Dubai Tigers produced. While Tigers went into this game as the form side in the division, having been unbeaten in the Top 5 playoffs, they had only weeks ago been held 20-20 by this same opposition. Harlequins may have been short of a number of regular players towards the end of this season, but the capital club have unrivalled strength in depth and rarely field an uncompetitive side at any level. So the manner of this victory will have Tigers installed as favourites come Finals day as they await the victors of Sharjah Wanderers vs Dubai Exiles 2s in the second semi final.

West Asia Premiership

With both semi finalists having produced an upset by winning away from home, Bahrain as the third ranked side, hosted this year’s West Asia Cup final with Dubai Exiles. Bahrain eventually ran out 47-25 winners in a contest played out in front of a bumper four figure attendance and many more watching online via a live stream curtesy of the Exiles media team (who gave us a great shoutout – Thanks Marc!!). They’re a team well deserved of a piece of silverware at the end of what has been a strong season for the ‘Red Wall’.

Things went to form in the West Asia Trophy where Dubai Hurricanes rounded off a disappointing campaign with a consolation trophy, seeing off Dubai Eagles 31-22. Despite Hurricanes taking home the Trophy title, Eagles will have taken plenty from this performance, and will believe that the gap between themselves and their city rivals is within touching distance at the end of their debut campaign.

Conference

dragons vs sharks

Aside from Tigers semi final win, Jebel Ali Dragons 2s warmed up for their bottom four final clash with Al Ain Amblers by brushing past bottom side Dubai Sharks 54-7.

Community

dragons vs harlequins

Both scheduled fixtures were forfeited this week, meaning that Abu Dhabi Harlequins 3s qualify for the final where they’ll face Jebel Ali Dragons 3s in a repeat of last year’s fixture, just edging out the Beaver Nomads for a place in this years final.

Article by: Huw Harrow

rugby roundup


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Action from a weekend where two pieces of silverware were awarded

 

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  •  

    Teams of the Week – Jebel Ali Dragons 1s and DSC Eagles Women

    West Asia champions 2018 Dragons

    womens crossboarder 7s series winners 2018 dubai eagles

    With both these teams winning trophies over the weekend, the team of the week title has to be shared. Dragons travelled to Bahrain knowing that only a bonus point win would likely be enough to top the West Asia Premiership. By coming out on top 36-32 at a venue where no UAE side had won this season they prove themselves worthy West Asia Premiership champions. Speaking with us after the match, Dragons Chairman Stuart Quinn was quick to compliment the players:

    “It was an amazing win at the toughest fixture of the league away to Bahrain. The game was really decided by a 10 minute spell after half time which kept us in reach of the title and with it being our 25th Anniversary this year, you couldn’t write a better script!”

    The path to glory has been a little more straightforward for the DSC Eagles women. The newly assembled outfit have won five out of the six rounds of the Gulf Women’s 7s rugby Series and they made sure to finish on a high by beating Dubai Tigers women in this weekend’s final round. With a Dubai 7s win also thrown into the mix it has been a dominant debut season for the Eagles and plenty of work to do for the chasing pack over the summer to narrow the gap. Darrell McEwen, Head Coach of the Eagles Womens squad spoke with us after his team lifted the trophy, saying:

    “It’s been a great first season for the Eagles ladies. The trophies are just reward for all the hours of training we’ve done throughout the season. As a coach, a great amount of satisfaction and pride has come from seeing players improve their basic skills and execute them in games. All the clubs have put on great tournaments as the women’s rugby community flourishes and I believe it will only get better.”

    UAE & West Asia Premiership

    abu dhabi quins 2018

    Dragons securing the all important bonus point win in Bahrain meant that Abu Dhabi Harlequins efforts away to DSC Eagles would always be in vain as far as the West Asia title goes. However it’s a different story in the UAE Premiership where Quins leapfrog Dragons in to second place and qualify for the season ending finale against Dubai Exiles.

    With that contest still over a month away, the newly formed West Asia Cup and Trophy now take centre stage. The ‘big 4’ in West Asia contest the cup while the bottom three go in to the trophy. This week sees the final of the UAE Premiership Cup take place up in Abu Dhabi as they host the Exiles.

    UAE Conference

    uae conference rugby sharjah wanderers

    Just one game was completed in the Conference which finished in a 22-22 draw at Zayed Sports City between Harlequins 2s and Dubai Tigers. Despite having led for much of the game, Tigers will still be pleased to come away from Abu Dhabi with a share of the spoils, which guarantees them a home semi final in the playoffs. The final round of matches will see Exiles, Wanderers and Harlequins battle it out to claim the other spot in the top two.

    UAE Community

    community rugby beaver nomads dubai

    Results went to form at the top of the table with Beaver Nomads and RAK Rugby running up high scores in their victories over Hurricanes 3s and Amblers 2s respectively. Towards the bottom, DSC Eagles 2s finally saw a closely contested game go their way to claim their first ever win in the Community league 32-24 over Saracens 2s. The result sees Eagles jump from dead last up to 8th and with a couple of games still to come, they will be aiming for a mid-table finish.

    Women’s 7s Series

    womens rugby 2018

    So that’s the 7s season over with for 2017/18. As mentioned above, the title winners Dubai Eagles will enjoy their bragging rights over the summer and may even pic up a couple more pieces of Silverware at this years Barrelhouse and Sharjah 10s in April.

    Here are the full results from the final weekend of ladies rugby:

    Cup winners: Dubai Eagles
    Plate Winners: Abu Dhabi Harlequins
    Bowl Winners: Al Ain Amblers
    Shield Winners: Sharjah Wanderers
    Spoon Winners: Dubai Hurricanes
    Fork Winners: Kuwait Scorpions

    Article by: Huw Harrow

    Rocktape
    Rocktape Barrelhouse 10’s Tournament

    For those of you still hungry for more rugby action this season, Barrelhouse Rugby Club (new additions to the Community League next season) are hosting their annual Rocktape Barrelhouse 10’s tournament on the 6th April 2018 at Dubai College, with both social and vets team entries still available.

    Get your team entered before the deadline date (March 24th) and join the Yalla Rugby Select squad pitch side for some mediocre banter and some festival style rugby!!!!


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Action from all three leagues on a wet weekend in the Emirates

 

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  •  

    Team of the Week – RAK Rugby

    A tough decision on team of the week with all matches going to form this weekend. We’ve gone for RAK Rugby in recognition of their clash with DSC Eagles 2s being the game of the round, RAK needing a late try to rally past Eagles on their home patch 29-32. A loud contingent of away supporters ensuring the occasion had something of a cup final atmosphere. While last week’s loss to Dragons 3s has likely knocked RAK out for contention for the actual Community league cup final, they have cemented a credible fourth place finish and have plenty of positives from this campaign to build on in to next season.

    West Asia Premiership

    Banana skins were successfully avoided by the title chasers this week. Abu Dhabi Harlequins put pay to city rivals Saracens in a one-sided contest at Zayed Sports City, while Jebel Ali Dragons were also emphatic in dispatching Dubai Hurricanes to keep pace in the Premiership and consolidate top spot in the West Asia Championship. The West Asia standings have seen the emergence of a ‘big four’ this year with Bahrain underlining their credentials by coming away from Sports City with an impressive 54-8 win over DSC Eagles. They, together with Exiles, Dragons and Harlequins will contest the playoffs while a hefty 18 point gap separates these four from Hurricanes in fifth.

    UAE Conference


    Several games fell victim to cancellations this week with Arabian Knights home fixture with Jebel Ali Dragons 2s in the bottom half, the only match to go ahead. Dragons emerged victorious but the hard fought 31-17 scoreline will offer the Knights some encouragement as they head in to their wooden spoon decider with Dubai Sharks.

    UAE Community

    RAK’s trip to Sports City was the only match of the round and in securing the points late on, they still stay in with an outside shot of making the final should sides above them suffer any upsets in the final round of fixtures. Bottom side Eagles 2s are surprisingly still yet to chalk up a win in the Community League. In six losses they have still managed to claim five bonus points which indicates that they have been lacking a bit of luck to turn performances in to results. They will have an opportunity to put this right next week away to Saracens 2s who sit just one place above them in the standings.

    Article by: Huw Harrow

    Rocktape
    Rocktape Barrelhouse 10’s Tournament

    For those of you still hungry for more rugby action this season, Barrelhouse Rugby Club (new additions to the Community League next season) are hosting their annual Rocktape Barrelhouse 10’s tournament on the 6th April 2018 at Dubai College, with both social and vets team entries still available.

    Get your team entered before the deadline date (March 24th) and join the Yalla Rugby Select squad pitch side for some mediocre banter and some festival style rugby!!!!

Team of The Week - Beaver Nomads


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Action from the UAE Premiership and Community leagues as the contenders for the end of season playoffs begin to take shape

 

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  • Team of the Week – Beaver Nomads

    The team of the week title has perhaps been long overdue to land at the feet of Beaver Nomads who are enjoying a strong season in the Community league. Indeed Nomads’ 69-0 triumph over an Abu Dhabi Saracens 2s side who have tasted victory only twice this season has put them top of the league standings and in with a real chance of preventing a repeat of last season’s HarlequinsDragons end of season final. Their clash with Dragons 3s could well prove decisive, but for the time being the Nomads can enjoy top spot and dream of bigger things to come.

    Jaen Botes - Dubai Exiles 2018

    UAE Premiership

    A huge result in the Premiership title race this weekend with Dubai Exiles holding off Abu Dhabi Harlequins 37-30 in a thriller at the Sevens. That result looks likely to set up a repeat of this fixture in the end of season final, should subsequent results run to form. Although Jebel Ali Dragons currently sit second, they look likely to be overtaken by Harlequins who have fixtures against backmarkers DSC Eagles and Abu Dhabi Saracens to come. The Dragons, who eased past Saracens at home this weekend still have plenty to play for in the West Asia tournament where they will feature in the semi-finals along with Exiles, Harlequins and Bahrain who made sure of their spot by dispatching Dubai Hurricanes 59-21.

    Ras al Khaimah Rugby Club - 2018

    Community

    With Nomads racking up the points, the onus was on Harlequins 3s and Dragons 3s to keep pace at the top of the table. They both did so, courtesy of a forfeit from Hurricanes 3s and a win over RAK Rugby respectively. RAK’s 26-46 loss over in Jebel Ali puts an end to their hopes of featuring in the final as they slip away from the top three but look set to finish a positive season as the ‘best of the rest’ in the Community standings.

    Eagles vs Harlequins women's rugby

    Womens Sevens Series

    It was the turn of the Dubai Tigers to host this round of Women’s Sevens Series rugby at Dubai College on Friday. The Eagles topped the table, winning all of their games and ending with a nail biter of a final, going down to the last play of the match against the Harlequins ladies.

    Article by: Huw Harrow

    Rocktape
    Rocktape Barrelhouse 10’s Tournament

    For those of you still hungry for more rugby action this season, Barrelhouse Rugby Club (new additions to the Community League next season) are hosting their annual Rocktape Barrelhouse 10’s tournament on the 6th April 2018 at Dubai College, with both social and vets team entries still available.

    Get your team entered before the deadline date (March 24th) and join the Yalla Rugby Select squad pitch side for some mediocre banter and some festival style rugby!!!!

dubai hurricanes 2s team of the week


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We catch up with the action from last weeks UAE Rugby fixtures in the Premiership, Conference and Community leagues.

 

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Team of the Week – Dubai Hurricanes 2s

We’ve gone for the Hurricanes’ Conference side this week for throwing up what on form was the biggest surprise result of the round in their comprehensive 53-25 triumph over Exiles 2s in their derby clash at the Sevens Stadium. The sides had enjoyed contrasting fortunes prior to Christmas with Exiles comfortably qualifying for the top half while Hurricanes crept in by the back door in 5th place. A loss for Canes here would have more or less spelled the end of their season but the men in yellow rose to the challenge with a bonus point win. They will need more of the same in their remaining fixtures if they are to make it to the knockouts but this result will see the likes of Harlequins 2s and Sharjah looking over their shoulders somewhat.

abu dhabi harlequins 1s scoring against hurricanes 1s

UAE Premiership

Both Abu Dhabi Harlequins and Jebel Ali Dragons narrowed the gap on top placed Dubai Exiles courtesy of comfortable victories this weekend. Both title chasers put over 50 points on the board against Dubai Hurricanes and DSC Eagles respectively. Exiles themselves were in West Asia action but returned from Bahrain empty handed having been edged out 19-11. A result which puts beyond doubt that Harlequins, Exiles, Dragons and Bahrain will finish in the West Asia top four. The sides are now left to jostle for position and home advantage in the semi-finals.

sharks 1 vs dragons 2

UAE Conference

Two matches took place in both sections of the division and the picture is decidedly clearer at the bottom than at the top. Thumping wins for Al Ain Amblers and Jebel Ali Dragons 2s serve as warm ups for when the sides meet each other in the Bottom 4 half final and leave Dubai Sharks and Arabian Knights looking to their upcoming clash as a decider in terms of who will avoid last place.

In the Top 6, the league picture recently had been muddied by some confusion over whether results from the first half of the season carry over or not. We can confirm that this season, they do indeed carry over – after confirmation from the UAERf. With this being the case, Exiles 2s and Dubai Tigers are now assured of a qualifying birth. This is despite Exiles surprise reverse against Hurricanes 2s which keeps the Canes alive in the competition. The Tigers are the division’s form side since the winter break having won three straight matches after seeing off Sharjah Wanderers 26-10.

Beaver Nomads community rugby

Community

Just one fixture took place which saw Beaver Nomads come away from Al Ain with an impressive 52-26 win over the Amblers 2s. An important result for the Nomads which puts them up to second in the standings but with a game in hand on leaders Abu Dhabi Harlequins 3s.

Article by: Huw Harrow

Rocktape Barrelhouse 10’s Tournament

For those of you still hungry for more rugby action this season, Barrelhouse Rugby Club (new additions to the Community League next season) are hosting their annual Rocktape Barrelhouse 10’s tournament on the 6th April 2018 at Dubai College, with both social and vets team entries still available.

Get your team entered before the deadline date (March 24th) and join the Yalla Rugby Select squad pitch side for some mediocre banter and some festival style rugby!!!!

Team of the week - Dubai Exiles


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This weeks roundup of action packed UAE Rugby sees a well overdue inclusion of the Women’s Rugby 7s Series. A huge thanks goes out to Tara Cooney for the write up!

 

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Team of the Week – Dubai Exiles 1s

As a rematch of the Dubai 7s final and clash of the top two placed sides in the Premiership, Dragons v Exiles was very much the crunch tie of this round of fixtures. Most observers would have expected a tight contest but as it was, Exiles overwhelmed their hosts by a 20 point margin, in a 35-15 triumph which all of a sudden leaves them six points clear at the top of the standings. Whilst both Dragons and Harlequins have games in hand, Exiles’ fate now rests in their own hands and have a real shot at making this season’s final.
dubai hurricanes

UAE Premiership

In the week’s other fixture Dubai Hurricanes overcame a spirited DSC Eagles 36-23 at Sports City. While mathematically the Canes are not out of the reckoning just yet, they are yet to record a victory against a side other than Eagles or Saracens so far this year. Saracens, having gained their first win of the season last week were unable to build on that momentum, falling to a 66-0 reverse out in Bahrain.
dragons vs amblers

UAE Conference

Dubai Tigers sit top of the top half standings after making it two wins from two with a 39-24 triumph over Exiles 2s. With four from five making it through to the semi-finals, Tigers already look all but assured to make it through to the knockout stages. At the other end of the standings, Abu Dhabi Harlequins 2s now face a real battle to qualify after going down 26-17 away to Sharjah Wanderers. With their next fixture an away test at the resurgent Tigers the favourites for the title need to find some form.

In the bottom half, Arabian Knights 1s won a thrilling local derby with Dubai Sharks 1s 28-27 and in doing so claimed their first win of the season and kept themselves in with an outside chance of making the final. The Dragons 2s and Amblers 1s played out a basketball scoreline in Jebel Ali with the home side coming home 59-48.
dubai eagles womens sevens winners

Womens 7s Series

Sharjah Wanderers hosted round 5 of the West Asia Women’s Rugby 7s series this weekend with both an A league and B league up for grabs. The A league welcomed two new teams; Al Ain Amblers and Abu Dhabi Bats and with Abu Dhabi Harlequins having handed DSC Eagles their first defeat of the season in winning round four, this tournament was one of the most competitive yet. Ultimately though the Eagles reasserted their authority to claim the title holding off significant challenges from Harlequins and Dubai Hurricanes in the process. Their B side also took home the honours in the B league over host Sharjah, RAK Rugby, B sides from Al Ain and Hurricanes as well as an Eagles C outfit. It it great to see strength in depth in this competition continue to grow, we look forward to round six which will be hosted by Dubai Tigers at Dubai College on Feb 23.

Article by: Huw Harrow

abu duabi saracens rugby


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Team of the Week – Abu Dhabi Saracens 1s

It takes a lot of guts and spirit to keep turning up week after week when results have not gone your way. Couple that with a distracting off-field situation and your city rivals enjoying unparalleled success and strength in depth and a lesser bunch than Abu Dhabi Saracens would have long since thrown in the towel. Both they and DSC Eagles will have been targeting last weekend’s gulf rugby fixture since the new year and it was always likely to be a tight affair. Saracens getting over the line 14-10 to record their first win of the season, makes them our team of the week.

hurricanes rfc vs exiles rfc

UAE Premiership

Away from the battle at the bottom there were impressive wins for Dubai Exiles 36-11 over the Hurricanes and for Abu Dhabi Harlequins for whom normal service was resumed in a 27-5 victory in their West Asia Gulf Rugby fixture with Bahrain. That result lifts Quins back on top of the West Asia standings by points difference but they sit third in the UAE standings behind both Exiles and Jebel Ali Dragons. This weekend’s clash of the top two at Jebel Ali could have a significant bearing on who contests the end of season UAE final. With Exiles currently having played a game more than their near rivals you sense that for them in particular getting a result will be an enormous boost. The sub-plot to the fixture is of course the chance for Dragons to gain revenge for their heartbreak at the Dubai 7s where Exiles came from behind to deny them the Gulf Mens League crown. Be sure to check out the great LIVE Rugby coverage that the Exiles are now introducing as they look to repeat last weeks popular broadcast again up at Jebel Ali, curtesy of Mark Why.

rak rugby club

UAE Community

It was not such good news for Saracens in the Community League where their 2s side were forced to forfeit their match with Arabian Knights 2s, a similar fate befalling the Shaheen who had been due to take on the Sharks 2s. In the three fixtures which did take place there was something of an upset out in RAK as Dubai Hurricanes 3s claimed their first win of the season, 22-19 over a RAK Rugby outfit who are contending at the top of the table this year. The Canes perhaps benefitting in terms of squad depth with the Conference league enjoying a bye week. It was also tight between Harlequins 3s and Beaver Nomads, Quins edging home 13-10. The defeat for Nomads leaves Jebel Ali Dragons 3s as the only side left undefeated in the whole of UAE rugby this season. There was also a good win away from home for Al Ain Amblers 2s, but they look to be too far behind the top contenders to mount a challenge for a place in the final.

Article by: Huw Harrow