Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Steve Smith, centre, chases down a quick during action at The Sevens Complex.
Steve Smith, centre, chases down a quick during action at The Sevens Complex.

Dubai Hurricanes go slow on finance but strong in rugby title bid

Overcoming sleep deprivation due to a shoe-string budget, the Dubai outfit will play a Doha side enjoying home advantage for the West Asia play-off final.

The Dubai Hurricanes will attempt to overcome sleep deprivation, a shoe-string budget and a Doha side enjoying home advantage as they bid to clinch a third trophy in the finale of the Gulf rugby season today.

Given the meagre finances on which the majority of clubs in the region operate, the Hurricanes had to opt for the cheapest flights to get to this afternoon's West Asia play-off final in Qatar.

They will travel from Dubai on the 7.30am flight, meaning a 5am alarm call for most of the players.

When they reach Qatar, they will have to while away the time before the 3pm kick off by either lounging beside the club pool or catching up with sleep on the clubhouse floor.

Imagine Manchester United doing the same ahead of a Champions League final.

However, the players are unlikely to be cowed by the challenging build up. Given the sense of optimism gripping the club, they believe they have a good chance of adding the West Asia crown to the UAE Premiership and Dubai Rugby Sevens titles they have already won this term.

"We want to win as many trophies as we can," Steve Holohan, the Hurricanes coach, said. "I think we have become one of the best clubs in the region, developing rugby with a strong junior and mini section and women's team.

"And the first team have developed again this season after two relatively poor seasons. We are one of the biggest clubs around."

Three years ago the Hurricanes were undoubtedly the leading club in the Gulf, but that was followed by two fallow campaigns.

The decline was arrested when Brian Allen breathed new life into the club after taking over as head coach last year.

When Allen left to return to his native Australia after Christmas, the slack was taken up by Holohan and Emil Seyfferdt, a senior player who became the backs coach.

Seyfferdt epitomises the club's spirit. In December, he dislocated his shoulder in the semi-final of the Dubai Rugby Sevens Vets competition.

It did not stop him. The doctor realigned his shoulder, and he then went on to score the winning try and make a try-saving tackle in the final.

Seyfferdt, who is one of the original members of the club which was formed in 2000, has not played since. He has to miss today's trip to Doha, yet he will be there in spirit.

"With the people we have, we are more like a family than a club," he said. "When things are tough the family stick together.

"We have had a different outlook this year. We set ourselves some goals and we have achieved more than what we should have."



Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Karim Benzema of Real Madrid celebrates scoring the opening goal in the Champions League semi-final first leg match against Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday in Madrid, Spain. Martin Rose / Bongarts / Getty Images / April 23, 2014

In pictures: Benzema propels Real Madrid over Bayern Munich

Images from Real Madrid's 1-0 win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final first leg match at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night.

 UAE’s Charlie Sargent tries to avoid a tackle by Singapore team members during the one-off Division 1 Test at The Sevens. The Singapore-born winger was making his debut. Sarah Dea / The National

Asian Five Nations: UAE go into rebuilding mode in Division 2

With a new look squad, including five emerging Emirati players, the UAE will hope to restructure and get into the winning habit in more forgiving climes when they drop a level in the revamped competition next season.

 Chris Gayle has been the most feared batsman in the Royal Challengers Bangalore line-up since he joined the team in 2011. Indranil Mukherjee / AFP

Parthiv continues to fill Gayle’s big shoes for Bangalore

Indian wicketkeeper-batsman will continue to open the innings for Royal Challengers with the West Indian still nursing his bad back, writes Paul Radley.

 Ian Poulter is fifth on the points list to make the cut in a 12-man European side for the Ryder Cup. Paul Lakatos / AFP

Ian Poulter sees momentum in Europe’s squad-building, with Ryder

Lot of players are striking well to stay in contention for the 12 spots in the team, but there is still lot of time before September, he warns.

 Erykan Bityutsky pulls a 4x4 car during the final day of the UAE Strongman Competition in Dubai. Delores Johnson / The National

UAE Strongman Competition takes weight training to a whole new scale

Two-day competition in Dubai attracts men and women from across the Emirates and proves it takes more than just bulky muscles to win, writes Ali Khaled.

 Benfica's Oscar Cardozo, from Paraguay, lifts the trophy celebrating after beating Olhanense on Sunday at Estadio da Luz. Benfica's 2-0 clinched them the Portuguese Primeira Liga championship. They will play Juventus in the the first leg of their Europa League semi-final tie on Thursday April 24. Francisco Seco / AP / April 20, 2014

Ambitious Benfica ready for Juventus while Sevilla and Valencia set to battle in Europa last-four

Benfica, fresh off clinching their 33rd Portuguese title, are looking to keep Juventus from reaching the Europa League final - which will be played in Turin - while the other semi-final sees La Liga rivals Sevilla and Valencia clash.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National