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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.
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.
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.
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