x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Ali Thompson: Quins are too good not to win anything

The Abu Dhabi Harlequins captain says his side are too good not to end the domestic rugby season without picking up a piece of silverware.

DUBAI // Ali Thompson, the captain, laid down a marker ahead of the Danway Gulf Cup final against Bahrain in a fortnight's time by suggesting his Abu Dhabi Harlequins side are "too good" to end the season without silverware. His side had just presented a compelling case to back up his claim after ending the new Premiership champions' 100 per cent record with a convincing success at Al Ghazal on Friday. The region's two leading sides will do battle for the third time in five weeks in Manama on March 26, with Gulf rugby's top cup competition set to be televised live on Bahrain Sports.

Having claimed the Prosperity Premiership with plenty of time to spare on home soil eight days ago, as well as securing home advantage on the toss of a coin, Bahrain will start as favourites. However, the tie is far from a foregone conclusion judging by the 29-7 victory for Abu Dhabi, the deposed Premiership champions, at the weekend. Thompson, the Scottish No8 who touched down a try of his own in the victory, said: "When we went over to Bahrain and lost narrowly, we came back knowing they weren't a better team that us.

"We have worked hard over the last couple of weeks and this result stands us in good stead for the final. We are obviously going to take nothing for granted. "We knew going into the game that the championship was over, and that the pressure was on Bahrain to maintain their unbeaten record. "Our goal was to destroy their unbeaten record. We have now created a few questions about how good they really are. "It is going to be a big, big match. We are looking for silverware and, in my opinion, this is too good an Abu Dhabi side not to have won any silverware this year." pradley@thenational.ae