DUBAI // The Dubai Wasps signed off their third season as a competitive entity by claiming their most significant trophy to date after winning the Gulf Conference yesterday.
The city's youngest top-tier club beat Doha's second string by a single point in Qatar to take the title by a similarly slender margin in front of the Abu Dhabi Saracens.
The Saracens had done their bit, by claiming a bonus point win in Muscat, with 25 points by their outstanding fly-half Dougie Steele, setting them on the way to a 42-24 win.
However, the Wasps maintained the one-point advantage they held at the start of the day thanks to a 32-31 win in Qatar.
In the Gulf Top Six, the Dubai Hurricanes completed an uncharacteristically bare season with a defeat to Doha, which was preceded by Chris Burch announcing to his side that he intends to step down as head coach.
The schoolteacher is planning to take a year out from rugby for personal and professional reasons, and will hand over the coaching role he started at the beginning of this season.
"I have been playing rugby since I was 13, I'm 35 this year and I haven't had a break in that time," said Burch, who hopes his swan song before his break will come as part of the UAE squad in the Asian Five Nations.
"Hopefully, the break will help me get back my enthusiasm for the game. It is just frustrating we couldn't sign off with some silverware."
On the neighbouring field to the Hurricanes 24-17 loss to Doha, the Dubai Exiles went down 28-24 to Bahrain.
Gareth Venter, the Exiles club captain who has done so much to revive the spirit of the club this term, is also considering his position due to the serious leg injury which has kept him on crutches for months.