x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Dubai College reign supreme

College pick up third age-group title of the season with victories at Zayed Sports City.

ABU DHABI // James Capon, the Dubai College (DC) full-back, reinforced his growing reputation with the decisive try as his side won the UAE Schools League Under 18 title last night.

The fleet-footed No 15 embellished earlier scores from Chris Burke and Nikhil Kanade as DC beat the British School Al Khubairat, 20-17, to claim a third age-group title of the schools campaign.

They are no strangers to victory. DC has long been established as the leading school in the country. However their continued success is all the more impressive given the general raising standards across the board in UAE schools' rugby in recent years.

"The improvement the British School have made in the two years that Lyn Jones has been here has been tremendous," Andy Jones, the director of sport at DC said.

"It is great that we have serious competition in schools rugby now and great for UAE rugby in general."

Lyn Jones, the former Wales international, left behind a career as a coach in Magners League and Heineken Cup rugby in order to take up his position as BSAK director of rugby at BSAK.

He has clearly lost little of his competitive fire in the transition. He was sent from the field by the referee during the second-half drinks break at the Zayed Sports City as his side, fuelled by two tries by Joe Teasdale and the boot of Luc Jones, staged a rousing comeback.

"This was the biggest margin of defeat we have had in all our games against them this season, but we were on the wrong end of the result again," Jo Czerpak, the BSAK coach and former Arabian Gulf fly-half, said.

"It was a brave comeback by our side again, but the win went to the more clinical side and the stronger team at the break down."

The senior DC team knew they had a tough act to follow after their U16 colleagues had just made easy work of Jumeirah College on the same field.

DC remain peerless at this level, and, after a successful tour of Malaysia for a international 10s competition, they went through the regular season undefeated.

They found the final to be little more taxing than a stroll in the sun, notching up five converted tries in a 35-5 win.

James Bywater, their highly-regarded fly-half, touched down two tries of his own, and set up the most eye-catching score of the afternoon with a break from his own 22.

Will Roderick, Callum Duncan and Harvey McAdam-Clark were the other try scorers for the victors.

"We have had a lot of success at this level, so it was good to keep that succession going," Mark Barrington, the coach, said.

"A lot of the boys have had first team experience this year, which has been a great help to the side now, and will also help them as they move on up."

DC had already clinched the U14 schools title before yesterday, while Jess Ranches won the U12 competition.