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Guide To UAE Rugby Competitions

Confused about all of the Cups, Trophies and Championships going on at the moment? Who’s won what and whats still up for grabs? We’ll attempt to clear things up for you here.

[Reading time: about 4 hours, no seriously… this is quality toilet reading time!!!] or just use the links below to skip to the bits that you’re interested in.

UAE Premiership League 2017/18

The UAE Premiership is the top tier league consisting of domestic rugby clubs; Dragons, Eagles, Exiles, Harlequins, Hurricanes and Saracens. Each team plays each other twice throughout the season in a league format with 4 points being awarded for a win, a bonus point awarded for scoring 4 or more tries and an additional bonus point for losing the match by 7 points or less.

Once each team has played each other twice, the top two teams then qualify for a grand final match (13th April 2018) to see who will be crowned UAERF Premiership Champions.

UAE Premiership Cup 2017/18

The UAE Premiership Cup, is a knockout competition between all six rugby clubs in the Premier League. The top two teams get a bye, whilst the other four have knockout stages to whittle it down to two semi finals. The two winners then face off in the Premiership Cup final. This year, Harlequins beat Exiles in the final to lift the UAE Premiership Cup.

West Asia Premiership League 2017/18

The West Asia Premier League is the top tier league which consists of all six of the UAE Premiership teams and includes Bahrain and Doha (this year Doha were forced out of the competition due to international politics). Each team plays each other twice, BUT the matches played between local UAE teams count as UAE Premiership League fixtures. So basically, the West Asia Premier League and the UAE Premier League are the same thing as far as local UAE teams are concerned. Still with us?? Try to stick with it!!

This year (2017/18), Jebel Ali Dragons were crowned West Asia Premier League Champions because they were top of the league after all fixtures had been played.

West Asia Cup 2017/18

The West Asia Cup is a separate knockout competition between the top four finishing teams in the league. Two semi finals are played. This year (2017/18) the 1st placed team (Dragons) played 4th placed team (Exiles), while 2nd placed team (Harlequins) played 3rd placed team (Bahrain*). Both Exiles and Bahrain won their games so face each other in the final to see who will lift the West Asia Cup.

 

* The West Asia Premiership Rules and Regulations state that if at the conclusion of the pool stage, two teams are equal on competition points, then: The team that won the match between the two teams shall be deemed to have finished higher in the competition table.

 

West Asia Trophy 2917/18

The West Asia Trophy is again a separate knockout competition for the bottom 3 finishers in the West Asia Premier League. This year (2017/18) they were Hurricanes, Eagles and Saracens. Because Hurricanes finished in 5th position, they automatically qualify for the Trophy final, leaving Eagles and Saracens to fight it out for the remaining spot to face the Canes in the final. Last week, the Eagles beat Saracens, so they will play the Hurricanes in the West Asia Trophy competition.

UAE Conference League 2017/18

The Conference League competition is the second tier league consisting of nine local rugby clubs with in the UAE; Amblers, Dragons, Exiles, Harlequins, Hurricanes, Knights, Sharks, Tigers and Wanderers.

With all nine teams starting off in the one Conference League at the beginning of the season, they play each other once before the winter break. The table then splits into two, becoming a Top 5 League and Bottom 4 League. This season (2017/18) the tables did not reset to zero, but kept their tally of points and games played. Then each team plays each other once to decide who qualifies for the playoffs to reach the Conference Top 5 Final. The top four teams in the T5 play semi final knockout games. This year we have 1st placed Tigers playing 4th placed Harlequins and 2nd placed Wanderers playing 3rd placed Exiles. Th winners of these games will face off in the grand final (13th April 2018) to decide who will be overall UAE Conference Winners.

The UAE Conference Bottom 4 League again plays out in similar fashion to the Top 5 league, where each team plays each other once. Due to there being only four teams in this mini league, the top two placed teams play each other in a grand final (13th April 2018) to decide who will be the UAE Conference B4 Champions.

UAE Community League 2017/18

If only all of the other leagues were as simple as this one! The UAE Community League is the biggest and most competitive league in our opinion. Played out as a social third tier competition, the Community League consists of 12 teams (now 10 due to Sharks and Shaheen with drawing their teams); Amblers, Dragons, Eagles, Harlequins x 2, Hurricanes, Knights, Nomads, RAK Rugby and Saracens.

Each Community League fixture is played every other week with each team playing each other once. After all fixtures are completed, the 1st and second placed teams qualify to play each other in a grand final (13th April 2018) o decide who can take the title of UAE Community League Champions.

So… hopefully that has cleared a few things up. See it’s a clear as mud!!!

Here’s a simple summary…

UAE Premiership League Title (To be decided between Exiles vs Harlequins)
West Asia Premiership League Title (Won by Dragons)
West Asia Cup (To be decided between Bahrain vs Exiles)
West Asia Trophy (To be decided between Hurricanes vs Eagles)
UAE Conference T5 Title (To be decided between Exiles, Harlequins, Tigers and Wanderers)
UAE Conference B4 Title (To be decided between Amblers vs Dragons)
UAE Community League Title (To be decided between Dragons, Harlequins and Nomads)

amblers-withdraw-west-asia-premiership-rugbyBreaking News: The Al Ain Amblers have withdrawn from the West Asia and Premiership rugby championship.

After a committee discussion the UAERF have been notified by Al Ain Amblers of their request to withdraw from the West Asia Premiership/UAE Premiership due to insufficient numbers and safety of the remaining players to be able to compete at the UAEConference level.

Any UAE Premiership games that have already been played or are due to be played by the Al Ain Amblers 1st XV will now be recorded as 0 – 0 draw. Other teams that are due to play the Amblers 1st XV on the fixtures list will now have a bye weekend.

The Amblers have confirmed they will honour their 1st XV fixture this weekend against Jebel Ali Dragons 1st XV, however no score will be recorded in the tables and will be seen as a friendly match. The Jebel Ali Dragons are under no obligation to fulfil this fixture.

This should make the UAE Conference league very interesting as the majority of the 1st XV players will now bulk up the 2nd XV.

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Emirates UAE Rugby Roundup


 

UAE Rugby Roundup

All three UAE rugby leagues are now into their regular season once again with both the Premiership and the Community tournaments back on the pitch.

Starting with the West Asia Premiership, the Saracens kicked off their season with a 20-0 win against the Amblers due to the match being ruled as a forfeit by the Amblers breaching UAERF Competition Regulations. Jayden Bell and Sunia Laladidi were both not eligible to play during this match. As stated in UAERF Regulation 19 – all fully completed dispensation forms must be submitted 15 days prior to the scheduled fixture. The Amblers will hope that the penalty point received doesn’t come back to haunt them near the end of the season.

The other match was an exciting 35-13 win for the Harlequins 1st XV against the Hurricanes 1st XV. The Quins really put their hand up as genuine title contenders against a strong Canes side.

In the UAE Conference league the Wanderers 1st XV secured a hard fought 23-14 win against a determined Heartbeat Tigers 1st XV side. They can take great pride in pushing the defending champions hard, finishing just 9 points behind. The Dubai Sharks 1st XV produced a gutsy performance, beating a battling Wasps 1st XV team by a solitary point 14-13 with the Sharks putting everything they had into the match and leaving nothing on the pitch at the sound of the final whistle.

Harlequins 2nd XV eased to an impressive 57-10 win against a struggling Amblers 2nd XV side. The Hurricanes 2nd XV suffered a disappointing 7-36 loss against an extremely impressive Dragons 2nd XV outfit, having finished one place above the Dragons last season, the Hurricanes will be disappointed with the heavy loss. The final match of the Conference was a dominating 59-0 win to the Exiles 2nd XV against the Saracens 2nd XV, the biggest scoring margin of the round leaves the Saracens with a lot to work on before the next round of UAE rugby.

The Community league kicked off with a Thursday night match for the defending champions – Beaver Nomads 1st XV against the Sharks 2nd XV. A physical encounter ended with the Nomads running out as 48-12 winners. The Amblers 3rd XV entertained the Harlequins 3rd XV on Friday with the Quins producing a fine performance to win 43-22.

Shaheen 1st XV produced the performance of the Community league by beating the Sharks 3rd XV 34-5. With just one season of 15s rugby union under their belt it shows that Shaheen have serious potential under head coach Apollo Perelini and will only get better as the season goes on. The final match of the Community league saw the RAK Rocks 1st XV entertain the Dragons 3rd XV in the “sandbox”, the name given to the Rocks newly refurbished all sand pitch. An extremely tiring game was won by the impressive Dragons unit 61-12.

A look ahead to the next round

There will be some great rugby on offer this coming weekend in the West Asia Premiership and Conference.

The match to watch in the WA Premiership has to be the defending champions, the Exiles 1st XV taking on the Harlequins 1st XV, who produced a fine performance last week.

In the Conference the Dubai Wasps will be looking to bounce back from their loss in round 2 and hopefully come away with a win against current champions Sharjah Wanderers 1st XV, to get their season back on track.

The Community league have a weekend off before returning to action on the 7th of October.

By Tom Davies

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West Asia Championship Top 9 rugby teams continue with rugby matches in Doha, Muscat, Abu Dhabi and Dubai

The Emirates Rugby and West Asia Rugby “West Asia Championship” 5th round will be played this Friday, Feb 12th, with matches scheduled across the Gulf; in Doha and Muscat, as well as Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the UAE.

Current West Asia leaders Doha will play Bahrain in Doha at 15:00, Abu Dhabi Harlequins face Dubai Hurricanes in Abu Dhabi at 17:00, Abu Dhabi Saracens travel to Dubai’s Sevens ground to play Dubai Exiles at 17:00 and Muscat will host Al Ain Amblers at 17:00. All games are their respective local time.

Additional to this weekend’s West Asia Championship games, the UAE Rugby Conference and UAE Community League games continue.

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We kick off 2016 with the West Asia Championship this Friday, January 8th, with 3 thrilling encounters to be played in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Friday’s first game will see Al Ain Amblers play Doha at Al Ain Amblers home ground at 3pm, in the second game Dubai Exiles take on Muscat at Dubai’s Sevens Stadium at 3.30pm, and the final game of the day will see the Abu Dhabi Saracens against Bahrain at the Al Ghazal ground – 5pm.

The West Asia Championship consists of the top 9 teams from across the GCC and will be played through to mid-March 2016. The top 9 teams, competing in the championship are; Al Ain Amblers, Abu Dhabi Harlequins, Abu Dhabi Saracens, Dubai Exiles, Dubai Hurricanes, Jebel Ali Dragons, Doha, Bahrain and Muscat.

UAE Rugby’s Conference and Community leagues re-start next weekend, Friday January 15th.

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Syria & Jordan prepare for Dubai 7’s 2015

With a combined playing number of 135, Jordan Rugby and Syria Rugby have put forward their strongest teams to challenge Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby 7’s Gulf Men’s Open title.

Syria Rugby

Syria Rugby

Syria’s Damascus Zenobians, who tasted success in 2011’s Rugby 7’s claiming the plate, have beyond just a trophy to play for. In 2012 the union had over 80 players in their XV’s and 7’s roster, today that number is 35. The Zenobians will be intent on putting forward a performance that will build pride in the game amongst their countrymen.

Syrian High Rugby Committee’s spokesperson commented; ‘Syrian Rugby believes that Rugby will oversee Syrian sports and return in strong form for the Syrian people to support and own. We believe we can grow our Syrian’s interest in the game, regionally and internationally, as Syria is a very good geographic location between Europe, North Africa, and Asia.”

Jordan Rugby

Jordan Rugby

Jordan is enjoying solid growth in both the XV’s and 7’s format and can now count on over 100 players. Jordan’s domestic calendar boasts three leagues and the club with the most points, at the end of the season, wins the series. Their most recent 7’s series was exceptionally competitive where the top 3 clubs where separated by a mere 5 points. Winners of their recent 7’s series, Nomad’s, will be looking to capitalise on this recent form and bring a few surprises to the Gulf Men’s Open. Jordan’s 2 teams, Nomads Rugby Club and Citadel Rugby Football Club, will also be aiming to influence and inspire their future players through this weekend’s performance.

Both unions continue to focus on providing the needed support to grow the game.

“Jordan’s Rugby Committee is working hard to develop Rugby across the Kingdom. We are working on developing the clubs starting with our youth. We have implemented World Rugby’s ‘Get Into Rugby’ programme in 10 schools (during 2015) and we currently see more than 500 players in the U18 category, our plan is to increase that number by 50% in 2016.” claim Jordan Rugby.

Syrian High Rugby Committee was encouraged by being granted access to one of the best fields in Damascus, which is used for Syrian National teams (in Damascus).
The future definitely looks bright for Syrian Rugby, as they develop their talent further after receiving support from Asia Rugby to conduct various coaching courses in the early part of December 2015. “Additionally, we have recently confirmed our participation in the Asia Rugby Development 7’s tournament series, being played in Chennai and Al Ain in 2016.”

Asia Rugby West’s Rugby Development Consultant, Ghaith Jalajel said; “It is very pleasing to see an increase in number of teams representing West Asia countries in the Dubai 7’s. I know Jordan Rugby have enjoyed a very strong Domestic 7’s season, which encouraged players to play more rugby and now we have 2 teams representing Jordan, one team (Citadel Rugby Football Club) is made off all Jordanian players. There is a 3rd team representing Jordan in the Gulf Vets.

Syria is the latest Asia Rugby members, and to me having a team from Syria represent everything rugby is all about. The will of the players to play and enjoy Rugby beats all difficulties they probably face in their country. We are taking this opportunity of having them in UAE to run training and education activities. We (Asia Rugby) held a Level 1 Coaching 15’s Course for them yesterday and we are planning a Level 1 Strength and Conditioning course on Sunday 6th (December) before they travel back to Damascus.

I wish all involved the best of luck in the tournament and I am looking forward to working with them to further develop rugby in West Asia.” added Jalajel.

Gulf Men’s Open games kick off 11:00am Thursday on pitch 2. Click here for the full Gulf Men’s Open schedule

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UAE Rugby Premiership 2015/16

For the new 2015/16 UAE rugby season, both the UAE Rugby Premiership and the Gulf Top Six will change.

The UAE Premiership will change from a round-robin format where teams would play each other once and the top two teams play each other in a grand final, to;- teams playing both home and away fixtures and the team at the top of the table being crowned champions of the UAE Rugby Premiership 2015/16.
Gulf Top 6 (West Asia Championship)

The Gulf Top Six (GT6) will have a drastic change with another three teams being added to the competition and will now be the West Asia Championship. In recent years, the top four teams from the UAE Rugby Premiership would qualify for the GT6. This season the qualification process has been scrapped. The revamped West Asia Championship will consist of the following Teams from around the Gulf: Muscat, Bahrain, Doha, Abu Dhabi Saracens, Abu Dhabi Harlequins, Jebel Ali Dragons, Dubai Exiles, Dubai Hurricanes and the newly promoted Al Ain Amblers. All teams will play each other once with the team at the top of the table being crowned West Asia Championship Winners.

The West Asia Championship will no longer conclude the UAE domestic season. This season the UAE Rugby Premiership will be played either side of it, with rounds one to seven to be played from September 25th until November 6th 2015. The West Asia Rugby Championship will be played from January 8th until March 18th, with the final three rounds of the UAE Rugby Premiership played from March 25th until April 8th 2016.

UAE Rugby Conference

The UAE Rugby Conference will continue with the same structure as before with eleven teams. There will be eleven rounds of action before teams split into Top 6 and Bottom 5 playoffs with both Top 6 and bottom 5 finals due to be played on March 25th 2016.

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