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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 February 2019

Abu Dhabi Harlequins ‘still have another gear’ after extending West Asia Premiership run

Mike McFarlane reckons his Abu Dhabi Harlequins side still have another gear to find, despite extending their unbeaten run at the top of the West Asia Premiership with a 29-10 win over their neighbours Saracens.
Abu Dhabi Harlequins, in white, remain unbeaten in the West Asia Premiership. Ravindranath K / The National
Abu Dhabi Harlequins, in white, remain unbeaten in the West Asia Premiership. Ravindranath K / The National

ABU DHABI // Mike McFarlane reckons his Abu Dhabi Harlequins side still have another gear to find, despite extending their unbeaten run at the top of the West Asia Premiership with a 29-10 win over their neighbours Saracens.

Andrew Semple, Brian Geraghty, Pat Jenkinson and George Phelan scored the tries as Quins put a bonus-point win on their city rivals at Zayed Sports City.

Quins already have the Western Clubs Champions League and the Dubai Sevens trophies safely banked this season, and are focused on adding the UAE and West Asia titles as well.

“Today I reckon we hit about 80 per cent,” McFarlane said. “We were chuffed with our performance. There were a lot of 8 or 9 out of 10 performances from the players — but we still have another gear.”

Luke Stevenson added the rest of the points for the victors, via three conversions and a penalty.

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“Now we have not just got a backline that can destroy teams, we have a forward pack that lays a platform, which makes us even more potent,” McFarlane said.

“Getting to 100 per cent is just about being clinical. We tried to force the issue sometimes, and that is when we were turned over.”

The capital derby was strewn with cards, as has become commonplace in recent weeks due to tougher policing of high tackles by officials.

Four yellow cards — one of which added up to a red — were shown, to add to the six reds and 20 yellow cards across the league the previous weekend.

Mike Pugliese touched down a consolation score for Saracens, with Matt Hutchings adding a conversion to his earlier penalty.

“Quins are a very fit, organised side, and they played very well,” Winston Cowie, the Saracens player-coach, said.

“They ran us off our feet. They were very clinical, and we have to take that on the chin. They are looking really good and should push on from here.

“We are a tight bunch of mates. The boys are disappointed but we will regroup.”

pradley@thenational.ae

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Updated: January 26, 2017 04:00 AM

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