x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Fletcher laments missed chance for UAE at Shanghai Sevens

Emirates captain oversees maiden win in HSBC Asian Sevens Series against Sri Lanka, but team lose out in the Bowl final to Chinese Taipei.

The new UAE national sevens team were able to celebrate a maiden victory as an official international side, but it was little more than consolation during a tough baptism at the Shanghai Sevens.

The Emirates side reached the final of the bowl competition during the first leg of the HSBC Asian Sevens Series, after they beat Sri Lanka 12-7 in their semi-final.

However, their pleasure was short lived as they went down 19-7 in the ensuing final against Chinese Taipei.

"We had an opportunity at 7-7 at half time and playing well against a good Chinese Taipei team," Tim Fletcher, the captain and main try contributor for the UAE, said.

"Just at those vital times some inexperience showed and a few brain-explosions happened later and we let in another couple of tries.

"It was there to be had, but we just couldn't quite close the deal."

The UAE will head to Borneo next month for the second leg of the continent's three-tournament series, knowing an improvement must be made.

"They started playing some of the structures a little better today, but it is just clear they need game time," Sean Hurley, the team manager, said.

"We learnt from yesterday and took a few things forward. There are still plenty of things to do."

pradley@thenational.ae