x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Mixed results for Jebel Ali Dragons player and UAE Women's coach

Tom Hatfield's progressed with his playing side, but the team he coaches lost all their matches.

The UAE Women face Moscow at The Sevens. Jake Badger for The National
The UAE Women face Moscow at The Sevens. Jake Badger for The National

DUBAI // The highs and lows of the Dubai Sevens were personified by Tom Hatfield yesterday, as the Jebel Ali Dragons side he plays for marched on relentlessly - but the UAE women's team he coaches lost all four of their matches.

The Dragons, who are chasing their fourth Gulf Men's League title in the past five Dubai Sevens tournaments, continued their hold over the domestic scene in the abridged format.

Having won the two preparatory tournaments in the lead up to this competition, the champions head in to finals day with three easy pool wins under their belt.

Playing evening pool matches for the Dragons was a good way for Hatfield to work off the frustrations which had gone before, in his day job with the women's team.

The national women's team, who were by far the best supported of any of the three UAE teams competing at the Sevens this weekend, failed to register a point in their four matches.

Their assignment was always going to be a tough one, having been pitched into a competition that also involved sides of the pedigree of Canada's second-string.

Following a chastening first day, they face Kenya Lionesses in the opening match of this morning's programme, looking for something to show from the weekend.

"I still think it was a positive day, as the team have made massive strides since [the recent tournament in India," Hatfield said.

"They started well with a positive performance against Moscow, lost to a lucky try and then a couple of bounces didn't go our way.

"The atrocious weather also didn't help anyone. There were a lot of handling errors by everyone, from the pros down to the vets.

"Our side are not used to playing in those conditions and there is no way we can train for it."

pradley@thenational.ae

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