x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Quins moving through the gears

The Abu Dhabi Harlequins send a warning to the rest of their Arabian Gulf Prosperity Premiership rivals by saying their best is yet to come.

The Abu Dhabi Harlequins will be without their fly-half Murray Strang, left, for their encounter with Muscat through injury.
The Abu Dhabi Harlequins will be without their fly-half Murray Strang, left, for their encounter with Muscat through injury.

DUBAI // Fresh from victory over one lot of title-challengers, Abu Dhabi Harlequins have sent a warning to the rest of their Arabian Gulf Prosperity Premiership rivals by saying their best is yet to come. Ali Thompson's side took a 14-7 success away from their trip up the coast against Dubai Dragons last weekend. Though they were more convincing winners than the score line suggested, they were profligate in attack and let a variety of chances go begging. "The exciting thing is we are still a long way off full potential - that is not coach-speak or chairman-speak, it is fact," said their chairman, Richard Harris. "The players were disappointed with how they rushed scoring opportunities against the Dragons, and are looking for more composure when they get in those positions." Quins can overtake Bahrain at the summit of the Premiership with a victory over Muscat at Al Ghazal tomorrow, but they will have to do it without their influential fly-half Murray Strang. The Scottish No 10 went off at half-time against the Dragons with a strained hamstring. Tony Matthews, Quins' regular fullback, will assume the stand-off berth against the side from Oman. Bahrain hold a surprise two-point lead over the holders, Abu Dhabi, at present, but are without a game this weekend. They signalled their credentials last weekend when they beat the Dubai Hurricanes, the off-form former champions. The Hurricanes had grown used to life at the top in recent years, but have had a rude awakening this term after six straight defeats. They will get the perfect opportunity to correct their course when they host the only side below them in the table, Kuwait Nomads, at The Sevens on Friday. The Dragons will be out to prove they are still worthy title challengers, following their home defeat to Abu Dhabi, when they meet Doha. pradley@thenational.ae