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!
Jump right in…
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.
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.
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.
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