x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Hurricanes thrash Nomads at The Sevens

When the world's finest sevens players come to town for the start of the IRB World Series, they will do well to top Ham's effort with the boot on Friday.

DUBAI // Pitch One at The Sevens was a grandiose setting for the basement battle between Dubai Hurricanes and Kuwait Nomads on Friday evening, but at least it was given an appropriately spectacular kicking display by the Hurricanes No10 James Ham as the home team won 40-5. The arena that will throb with 40,000 plus people come finals night of the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens on December 5 was all but deserted as the two lowest placed sides in the Prosperity Premiership met. The scaffolding stands are nearly back to optimum height ahead of next month's showpiece, and the groundsmen are rotating their facilities to make sure the pitches are perfect for the event. When the world's finest sevens players come to town for the start of the IRB World Series, they will do well to top Ham's effort with the boot on Friday. The Hurricanes were good value for their convincing win, which was the first of the season for the side who had been the dominant force in Gulf rugby in recent seasons. Their victory was primarily memorable for two conversions from the right-hand touchline by Ham, which could not have been more precise if they had been laser-guided. Chris Gregory, the Hurricanes captain, said: "It is a good result for us and gets the team moving forward again. "We have done the hard work but now the season becomes disjointed until after Christmas. We will focus on doing well at the Sevens now." The Hurricanes' city rivals, the Dragons, suffered another jolt to their title ambitions, as they followed up the home defeat to Abu Dhabi Harlequins with a hefty 41-8 loss on their travels to Doha. Abu Dhabi's title defence continues unchecked as they comfortably dispatched Muscat 53-11 at Al Ghazal. pradley@thenational.ae